Monday, May 15, 2006

Iran Tried to Acquire Nuclear Weapons from Pakistan


Former Pakistan's army chief Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg, recently disclosed to the Associated Press how Iran had approached Pakistan for close to 20 years to obtain conventional arms and then technology for nuclear weapons.

In 1990, while he was Pakistan’s army chief of staff, Iranians visited him to try to acquire nuclear bombs: “They didn't want the technology. They asked: 'Can we have a bomb?' My answer was: By all means you can have it but you must make it yourself. Nobody gave it to us.” Beg added that former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto even told him the Iranians offered more than $4 billion for the technology.

Beg, who believes that Iran has had enough time to build nuclear weapons, received a delegation from the Iranian Embassy in Pakistan last January, seeking advice on how to head off an attack on their nuclear facilities, based on his own experience dealing with India's nuclear threat. His recommendations were to “make it clear that if anything happens to Iran, if anyone attacks it, that Iran's answer will be to hit Israel” and to be ready to “degrade the defense systems of Israel”.

7 Comments:

At Tue May 16, 08:19:00 AM PDT, Blogger NYkrinDC said...

I do not know how believable this claim is. This is particularly true, since Pakistan and Iran have been at odds with each other for a long time. India has always been very close to Iran, providing it with technological knowhow and support. Due to the animosity between Pakistan and India, it is more likely that Iran would have asked India for help and not Pakistan. Another measure of this, is the fact that while the Taliban was in power, both Iran and India were aiding the Northern Alliance and other opposition groups, while Pakistan was supporting the Taliban. Given that animosity and history of being at odds with each other, unless there is concrete proof, it seems as if Pakistan is just taking advantage of the situation to hurt Iran. Furthermore, Pakistan did provide some nuclear technology to Iran, through the Khan network, so any suggestion that they refused (when Kahn was already providing said technology) sounds hallow at best. In short, Iran was more likely to procure such technology first and foremost from India, not Iran, and Kahn's network was already up and running, hence voiding any need of Iran to ask Pakistan for any technology since it was already getting it on the black market.

 
At Tue May 16, 07:45:00 PM PDT, Blogger Filou said...

nykrindc,

i would be interested to see the concrete information that you have related to the relationship between iran and india on nuclear technology.

while it's proven that iran has leveraged both china and pakistan know-how and equipment (e.g. pak1), i have never heard of any indian technologies that iran would have used.

btw, the whole argument that pakistan was unaware that khan was sharing nuclear technology with other countries looks like a big lie to me. i can't believe that pakistan would have not been carefully watching the person leading their most secret and strategic project...

 
At Fri May 19, 02:48:00 PM PDT, Blogger NYkrinDC said...

Filou,

In my response I wasn't making an argument that India had provided said technology to Iran. Rather, I was arguing that given their close relationship (India sees itself as Iran's mentor) it was reasonable to expect Iran to ask India for said technology in the first instance instead of Pakistan given their adversarial relationship.

Also, my other point with regard to Kahns network was that since it was already operational it would have been easier for Iran to go through the network to get its nuclear weapons, rather than appealing directly to the government of Pakistan. This does not mean, or imply that the Pakistani government did not have knowledge of the network's doings, it is merely an observation.

 
At Mon May 22, 03:39:00 PM PDT, Blogger Filou said...

nykrindc,
Thanks for the clarifications. Regarding Khan, I am still amazed that we allowed his network to operate for so many years. Is that a failure of the intelligence or a gross negligence on the side of the US governments? In addition and even if Khan is a national hero, we should have forced Pakistan to hand it over to us, not only for the crime he committed but for the knowledge he has on secret nuclear programs (of Iran and other regimes).

 
At Mon May 29, 08:28:00 AM PDT, Blogger Mike's America said...

What's this? I thought Iran was just looking to develop nuclear technology for the generation of electricity?

You mean they have been LYING all this time?

Well sounds to me like they have been desperate to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction.

Will we wake up from our delusions and escape our prejudices in time to head off this looming catastrohe?

Or will we wait until it is too late and the cost in human lives is measured in millions?

History repeats itself and only fools and the insane think that we can again follow the course of appeasement and denial and expect a better result.

 
At Mon May 29, 10:21:00 PM PDT, Blogger Filou said...

mike's america,
i totally agree with you. i can't understand what we are waiting for. time is working against us and i don't see any real progresses being made in either stopping iran, getting ready for a potential war or even raising the awareness of the western populations re: iran's threat.

 
At Wed Jun 21, 12:03:00 AM PDT, Anonymous cbcd said...

nykrindc
I wish India had any clout with Iran. Witness the gas pipeline project between Iran, Pakistan and India which seems to have been quietly shelved as a victim of India's support of UN action against Iran re: nuclear weapons (in return for US support on being inducted into the 'nuclear powers' club).

I believe it is true that India wants to countervail Pakistan's policy of having "strategic depth" in terms of its relations with Afghanistan and Iran. With the Taleban being hunted down, all of India's Afghan friends are now back in power (most of today's Afghani government lived in Delhi for the last 10 years). With Iran, this is not the case.

India has not proliferated its nuclear technology to Iran or to anybody else. Let's not move the spotlight away from the hypocricy of the US allying with Pakistan in the war against terror while Pakistan (sourced from China) has clearly proliferated nuclear technology to several countries.

 

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