Possible Weapons Applications
The Associated Press in an exclusive report published today quotes an unnamed IAEA official that Darioush Rezaeinejad, the scientist shot dead on a Tehran street by motorcycle-riding gunmen last Saturday, was an expert on high-voltage switches which are key components in setting off the explosions needed to trigger a nuclear warhead. AP named the late Rezaeinejad as the co-author of an abstract on the subject, entitled “Designing, Manufacturing and Testing a Closing Switch.”
Last May, IAEA reported seven “areas of concern” related to Iran’s nuclear program. Four of those areas dealt with high-voltage switches and suspected “high voltage firing equipment and instrumentation for explosives testing” for possible weapons applications.
The AP report states that Rezaeinejad’s abstract was presented to the 16th Conference of Iranian Power Engineering in Tehran three years ago. The slain scientist reportedly claimed success during his presentation. If accurate, the technology moves Iran closer to capability of setting off a nuclear explosion if it so chooses. Nuclear warheads are triggered by a series of conventional explosions, and the switch in question is a key piece of hardware in the process.