Iran's president wants to shed the nation's secrecy and forge ahead openly with developing nuclear weapons but is opposed by the clerical leadership, which is worried about international reaction to such a move, says an intelligence assessment shared with The Associated Press.
That view, from a nation with traditionally reliable intelligence from the region, cannot be confirmed and contrasts with assessments by other countries that view Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as relatively moderate on the nuclear issue compared to the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
...Ahmadinejad is pushing "to shake free of the restraints Iran has imposed upon itself, and openly push forward to create a nuclear bomb," says the assessment shared with the AP. But Khamenei, whose word is final on nuclear and other issues, "wants to progress using secret channels, due to concern about a severe response from the West," says the report.
In related news, Iran has created an agency solely focused on the development of nuclear weapons.
An Iranian opposition group says Tehran's leaders have created a new defense agency to consolidate nuclear weapons research.
The Mujahedin-e Khalk, or MEK, said that Iran's defense ministry established the Organization for New Defense Research in March. It is led by a physicist suspected of running the country's nuclear arms development programs.
...Some previous MEK claims about Iran's nuclear program have been confirmed. Others have not.
More important than both of these stories are the reports coming in that a top Iranian nuclear scientist has been killed outside of his home. Press TV says the attackers came via motorcycles, which is similar to how other Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in the past.The name of the nuclear scientist is Darioush Rezaei, a physics professor tied to the nuclear program.
Date and place of birth: 22/06/1965 in MOGHAN, IRAN
Marital status: married
EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
In Nuclear Physics
Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (2001-2007)
• Total grade: summa cum laude
• Ph.D. thesis: The investigation of neutron back scattering method on landmine detection