A leaked intelligence report from an unnamed European intelligence agency published in the Guardian on Wednesday claims to prove that Iran's intentions are to produce a nuclear weapon.
The report argues Tehran has an advanced program designed to acquire nuclear expertise, training and equipment. Additionally, according to the report, Syria, Pakistan and North Korea are part of an international black market in illegal weapons parts.
The reports claims that Iran has established multiple front companies, middlemen and academics who allegedly gather information and materials needed for nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
The report also supports the claim that Iran has sought missiles which might reach Israel or southern Europe.
Iran resumes nuclear fuel research
Meanwhile, Iran announced on Tuesday that it would resume its nuclear fuel research after more than two years, while Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad maintained that "research has no restrictions or red lines".
"Our country will go forward on the nuclear path with patience, wisdom and planning," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told reporters at AFP.
The move prompted the United Nations atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to send a warning to Iran that it must cease nuclear work.
However, the deputy head of Iran's atomic energy agency, Mohammad Saidi, said that the IAEA had been informed previously if Iran's intent in a letter to the agency.
"In a letter, the IAEA has been informed that Iran will start research on the technology of nuclear fuel in a few days, with the cooperation and coordination of the agency," he said.
Some in the West, including the United States, believe that Iran's uranium conversion may be used for enrichment purposes and ultimately to create a nuclear bomb. Iran's move threatens to disrupt ongoing negotiations between Western governments and Tehran who want Iran to halt such work.
On Tuesday, France called on Iran to reverse its move, while a delegation from Moscow made a visit to Tehran on Saturday in an attempt to break the deadlock.
In an attempt to break the deadlock, Russia has offered to allow Iran to conduct uranium enrichment on its soil, giving it access to the nuclear fuel cycle while ensuring that it will not be used for military purposes.
However, Iranian authorities have said that they would only accept the offer on condition that their right to conduct uranium enrichment operations in Iran is acknowledged.
The European Union has so far refused to agree to such a statement.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)