North Korea supplying Syria, Iran with prohibited nuclear technology, report says
Hopefully today’s explosion will slow down their nuke plans…
North Korea has supplied Syria and Iran with a special kind of steel used to upgrading missiles and building centrifuges for uranium enrichment, the German newspaper Die Welt reported over the weekend.
The material, called maraging steel, appears on the monitoring list of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime, and its export is prohibited to countries under sanctions such as Iran.
It has been known for years that Iran is trying to obtain the steel through its clandestine purchasing networks around the world. The steel would enable Tehran to construct modified centrifuges, which would in turn allow it to enrich higher quality Uranium at a faster speed.
According to the report, the delivery of the steel is part of a wider North Korean expertise package to Syria, which is building a new missile factory near Homs. According to other reports, the factory is partly funded by Iran, and is expected to become operational within 18 months.
Maraging steel would significantly upgrade Syria’s Scud missile capabilities and the amount of damage their warheads could inflict.
The German newspaper, citing unnamed ‘Western security sources,’ also reported that Syria is trying is trying to supply Hezbollah with M-600 missiles, that have a range of up to 300 kilometers. These would be equipped with warheads that were upgraded using maraging steel.
Several UN resolutions forbid North Korea from exporting weapons or weapons technology.
ISIS has acquired commercial satellite imagery of a military compound near the town of Bid Kaneh1 in Iran where a large explosion occurred on November 12, 2011. Compared to an earlier picture of the site, an image taken on November 22, 2011 shows that most of the buildings on the compound appear extensively damaged (see figures 1 and 2). Some buildings appear to have been completely destroyed. Some of the destruction seen in the image may have also resulted from subsequent controlled demolition of buildings and removal of debris. There do not appear to be many pieces of heavy equipment such as cranes or dump trucks on the site, and a considerable amount of debris is still present. About the same number of trucks are visible in the image after the blast as in an image from approximately two months prior to the blast. Thus, most of the damage seen in the November 22, 2011 image likely resulted from the explosion.
ISIS learned that the blast occurred as Iran had achieved a major milestone in the development of a new missile. Iran was apparently performing a volatile procedure involving a missile engine at the site when the blast occurred.
Pictures at the link.