January 29, 2014

Site-Meter Collection of Iranian Nuclear Program

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The whole issue of whether or not Iran has nuclear weapon intentions is dominated by right-wing US and Israel academics. Repetition of "when not if we should bomb Iran" commentary is usually unhelpful in the absence of first hand data. By the time data reaches these commentators it is often highly distorted and third or fourth hand. The following research and some analysis is intended to fill part of the void in knowledge.

This website's information on the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) reflects Iran's interest in nuclear weapons research as an option for Iran or an intention. The AEOI is active in many university institutes, cities and isolated sites in Iran, particularly in Tehran and Isfahan (aka Esfahan) a large city about 350 km south of Tehran.

The Isfahan University of Technology (IUT) is closely related to AEOI. IUT includes the Nuclear Technology Center (INTC) (run by the AEOI) with an estimated 3,000 scientists   http://www.nti.org/facilities/237/ . INTC has many nuclear functions including Uranium enrichment. INTC operates three small nuclear research reactors supplied by China.

Like all research communities the Iranian nuclear community uses internet searches for general and specific purposes. Internet search for sensitive nuclear topics involves inherent security risks for searching organisations - so sensitive internet searches require good reasons. One of those reasons from mid 2006 was Divine Strake. In mid 2006 the US Government announced that it intended to conduct a large, non-nuclear, high-explosive test known as "Divine Strakehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_Strake at the US Government's Nevada (nuclear) Test Site. The test would use hundreds of tonnes of conventional explosive to simulate a low nuclear yield bunker buster test of the type that might be useful one day against deep dug Iranian nuclear facilities.

The prospect of a Divine Strake test created considerable interest in the Iranian nuclear community in 2006-2007. The point of interest for Iran was probably that Iran might be the likely target of US weapons. Iran might also benefit from conducting conventional explosive simulations itself along with computer simulations. These simulations might be one of a number of productive avenues for Iran's own nuclear test program as they might partly avoid the need for Iran to conduct actual nuclear tests, down the line, if it wanted to. 

The Iranian nuclear community therefore began to conduct some pointed internet searches to discover what the American's were doing. Using my website and a simple, free site-meter, Submarine Matters began to detect and collect some searches by employees of Iranian Atomic research institutions. Although the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) officially canceled Divine Strake in February 2007 some interesting Iranian Google search results were gathered as detailed below. If readers are accustomed to using simple site-meters or even professional metadata collection they will have a handle on the significance of the following.

Iranian Google keyword searches detected on this website include:

- July 21, 2006 (IP 80.191.142.11) "Esfahan", conducted Google search for "deep bunkers MOP" MOP means Massive Ordinance Penetrator see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_Ordnance_Penetrator  

- October 30, 2006 (IP 217.218.11.165) "Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran" "Tehran"  employee googled "what is nuclear simulation". 

Comment - the October 30, 2006 literal use of "Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran" as the Iranian ISP is clearly poor security. One can now conclude that 217.218 is an "Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran" IP number even if "Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran" is disguised with other ISP names.  

- November 19, 2006 (IP 217.218.64.202) Atomic Energy Organization of Iran disguised as "Area No 6 Partition" "Tehran", conducted a Google search for "nuclear explosion simulation".

Comment - Use of the very innocuous term "Area No 6 Partition" has some precedents for nuclear organisations in other countries. For example Russia (which has been assisting Iran to complete the Bushehr reactor complex) used the term "Laboratory No. 2" for Russia's nuclear weapons organisation in 1943 ( see Jeffrey T. Ricelson's "Spying on the Bomb" page 67,   http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393053830/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=  )  

- March 4, 2007 (IP 213.176.127.82) from - "Iranian Research Organization" employee googled key words "simulation underground nuclear explosion".

- September 9, 2007 (IP 217.218.64.202) Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, employee googled information on "nuclear weapon effects computer".

- October 23, 2007 (IP 217.218.64.202) Atomic Energy Organization of Iran employee googled information on "nuclear weapon effects computer".

- November 13, 2007 (IP 217.218.64.202) Atomic Energy Organization of Iran employee googled information on "underground nuclear explosion"

- November 22, 2007 (IP 217.219.18.13) Isfahan (aka Esfahan) University of Technology, Tehran campus, reading information on this blog concerning Indian and Pakistani nuclear missiles.

- June 3, 2010 (IP 83.147.213.101)  Isfahan (aka Esfahan) Googled for information on the SILEX laser uranium enrichment process.

Information collected above on Iranian interest in "nuclear weapon effects computer" prompted me to do further research on supercomputer upgrades at the Isfahan University of Technology. In 2011 the then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly unveiled a supercomputer at Isfahan University of Technology  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isfahan_University_of_Technology#Research_.26_Facilities  . A supercomputer has many uses including complex physical and chemical reactions that occur in nuclear explosion simulations. Such simulations demand the enormous speed and capacity of supercomputers. By 2011-2012 the Iranians are likely to have conducted nuclear explosion simulations using the supercomputer.

PETE'S COMMENT
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As at January 2014 Iran is at or near breakout status - with the three components being:

- substantial stocks of semi-enriched uranium (LEU or MEU), which could become bomb grade (90+%) HEU within a couple of months using Iran's thousands of centrifuges and possible hidden laser enrichment capability.

- delivery means - in the form of Sejjil http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sejjil solid fuel IRBM and the  Shahab series liquid fueled IRBMs, and

- enough nuclear device plans and components acquired from Pakistan's A. Q. Khan network to have constructed crude fission devices (minus the HEU and/or Plutonium explosive) around 8 years ago.


The Saudis using their own info and that shared by Israel and the US, would be very aware of Iran's nuclear status. If Iran moved from breakout to fully assembled warheads on missiles the Saudis would probably rely on the US and Israel to strike Iran.

Meanwhile the Saudis might complete there own nuclear capability mainly by purchasing it in cash and oil from Pakistan and China. The Saudis have possessed now obsolete Chinese made CSS-2 IRBMs since around the 1987 and on January 29, 2014 it was reported that China had sold more advanced DF-21 (CSS-5) MRBM to the Saudis - see http://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-cia-helped-saudis-chinese-missile-deal-227283 .

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Pete

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