Iran has drawn up designs for a deep underground tunnel with remote-controlled heat and pressure sensors as part of what Western intelligence officials believe are preparations for a secret atomic test.
The plans, which American and British intelligence conclude are genuine after studying them on a laptop computer smuggled out of Iran by a defector, appear to be the latest evidence that Teheran is conducting a clandestine nuclear weapons programme.
The existence of the sophisticated sketches for a 400-metre long subterranean test shaft was made public last week in The Washington Post. The welter of documents and disclosures provides what Western governments believe is an overwhelming circumstantial case that Iran is seeking an “Islamic bomb”.
Washington and London won International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) support last weekend for Iran to be reported to the United Nations Security Council, after the clerical regime resumed banned centrifuge research work at its Natanz uranium-enrichment plant.