New intelligence: Iran moves closer to nuclear weapon

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VIENNA — The U.N. atomic agency has received new and significant intelligence over the past month that Iran has moved further toward the ability to build a nuclear weapon, diplomats tell The Associated Press.

They say the intelligence shows that Iran has advanced its work on calculating the destructive power of an atomic warhead through a series of computer models that it ran sometime within the past three years.

The diplomats say the information comes from Israel, the United States and at least two other Western countries and concludes that the work was done sometime within the past three years. The time frame is significant because if the International Atomic Energy Agency decides that the intelligence is credible, it would strengthen its concerns that Iran has continued weapons work into the recent past — and may be continuing to do so.

Because computer modeling work is normally accompanied by physical tests of the components that go into a nuclear weapons, it would also buttress IAEA fears outlined in detail in November that Tehran is advancing its weapons research on multiple fronts.

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