Dec 05 2006

Iran And Polonium-210

One angle which has not been explored sufficiently is that of Iran and Polonium-210. It was reported back in Feb 2004 that Iran has produced Polonium as part of their nuclear production efforts:

WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (AFP) — Iran produced and experimented with polonium — used in the timing of nuclear explosions — some time ago, but says it was not used for such purposes, The Washington Post said Tuesday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency will include Iran’s experimentation with polonium in a report to be submitted this week at the United Nations, two people familiar with the report told the daily.

Iran has submitted to IAEA inspections to show the world it does not have nuclear weapons ambitions, but its dabbling with polonium coupled with the IAEA’s discovery of components for an advanced uranium-enrichment centrifuge have raised serious doubts about Tehran’s forthrightness.

Iran has acknowledged the experiments with polonium but has offered an explanation involving another of polonium’s possible uses, including power generation.

The IAEA has left the issue “hanging there,” one person familiar with the matter told the Post.

He said the experiments took place “some time ago,” the daily added.

Polonium has some industrial purposes, but in combination with beryllium it can be used to ensure the chain reaction leading to a nuclear explosion begins at the right time.

More here with the clear implication that where you find large amounts of Polonium you may find a nuclear weapon. As we all now know Polonium has very limited use in the general commercial market due to its toxicity. So let’s assume the reports that the Russian production of Polonium has been suspended for two years now and all inventories and exports have been accounted for. That would make the Iranians a plausible secondary source. Let’s connect some dots between Russia and Iran’s nuclear program:

Russia and Iran have signed an agreement for Moscow to supply fuel to Iran’s new nuclear reactor in Bushehr.

Under the deal Iran has to return spent nuclear fuel rods from the reactor, which was designed and built by Russia.

The clause is a safeguard meant to banish fears that Iran might misuse the rods to build nuclear weapons, a concern of the US, Israel and others.

The agreement sets out a time-frame for delivery of the fuel, but officials said the dates would be kept secret.

This kind of arrangement is what many on the left might like to see with Iran as opposed to the Bush administration’s efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear program. It was hoped this arrangement would avoid Iran having some of the materials to make a nuclear bomb. But it doesn’t appear to address by products that could be made like Polonium-210. And now one more dot for consideration: The Chechen’s:

Iran is secretly training Chechen rebels to enable them to carry out more effective attacks against Russian forces.

Teams of Chechen fighters are being trained at the Revolutionary Guards’ Imam Ali training camp, located close to Tajrish Square in Tehran, the Sunday Telegraph cited Western intelligence reports.

In addition to receiving training in the latest terror techniques, the Chechen volunteers undergo ideological and political instruction by hardline Iranian mullahs at Qom.

The paper noted that this information would not “go down well in Moscow, which regards itself as a close ally of the Iranian regime.”

This angle deserves a lot more analysis and may explain why the UK’s AWE initially determined that it was a Russian reactor that created the Polonium-210. Maybe it was just a Russian designed reactor located someplace else.

103 responses so far

103 Responses to “Iran And Polonium-210”

  1. crosspatch says:

    There are some bright signs on the horizon, actually. Iran is slated to start a pretty huge privitization program. Sure, a lot of this stuff will go to cronies of the mullocracy at first but the government will no longer directly control hiring and firing. In other words, you might not have to be related to a mullah to get a job like you do now.

    Also, the legislature wants to pass a bill that Ahmadinejad must stand for elections again in 2008. In fact, I believe they have already passed a preliminary bill to shorten his term by 18 months:

    al Jazeera link

  2. jerry says:

    “Jerry, his friends who were with him when he died, were reported to have said that was Litvinenko’s original thought, but he changes it before he died. In any event I doubt the Brits would have let Scaramella leave if they believed that. Remember, he voluntarily returned to the UK when Litvinenko died. ”

    Well you are a staunch Scaramella defender Clarice. My problem is that the documents/Scaramella or the tea/Lugovoi seem to be the two opportunities for the poisoning (operating within my biases and from the limited info available).

  3. clarice says:

    I vote for tea..One of the articles posted on another thread, indicates he had tea with an associate of Lugovoy before he met Scaramella and was already feeling unwell by the time he got to the sushi bar.