from sun-sentinel: In the heart of Tehran sits one of Iran’s most important nuclear facilities, a dome-shaped building where scientists have conducted secret experiments that could help the country build atomic bombs. It was provided to the Iranians by the United States.
The Tehran Research Reactor represents a little-known aspect of the international uproar over the country’s alleged weapons program. Not only did the U.S. provide the reactor in the 1960s as part of a Cold War strategy, America also supplied the weapons-grade uranium needed to power the facility—fuel that remains in Iran and could be used to help make nuclear arms.
As the U.S. and other countries wrestle with Iran’s refusal this week to curb its nuclear capabilities, an examination of the Tehran facility sheds light on the degree to which the United States has been complicit in Iran developing those capabilities.
Though the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, has found no proof Iran is building a bomb, the agency says the country has repeatedly concealed its nuclear activities from inspectors. And some of these activities have taken place in the U.S.-supplied reactor, IAEA records show, including experiments with uranium, a key material in the production of nuclear weapons.
U.S. officials point to these activities as evidence Iran is trying to construct nuclear arms, but they do not publicly mention that the work has taken place in a U.S.-supplied facility.