January 17, 2012
The former director of U.S. programs for production of nuclear materials and components for nuclear weapons, Clinton Bastin, sent an open letter to President Obama the morning of January 13, explaining that there is no weapons threat from Iran’s fully safeguarded nuclear power and research programs. A copy of the letter, which the nuclear scientist also sent to the Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, was made available to 21st Century Science & Technology magazine yesterday. It is reproduced below in full.
Bastin, who has served in leading positions in government since the 1950s, laid out the case on Iran in greater detail in an interview with 21st Century Science Nov. 18, 2011. The interview, which devastates the arguments for an Iranian nuclear weapons threat, is available at the 21st Century Science and Technology website.
To: Iran Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee to the United Nations Subject: NUCLEAR IRAN
Dear Mr. Ambassador:
THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE SENT TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA THIS MORNING IS BASED ON EXPERIENCE-BASED KNOWLEDGE
There is no weapon threat from Iran’s important, fully safeguarded nuclear power and research programs. Sanctions based on false claims of a threat have disrupted Irans economy and Iranians’ day to day lives, preclude effective negotiations with Iran to resolve problems and increase world dangers.
The ultimate product of Iran’s gas centrifuge facilities would be highly enriched uranium hexafluoride, a gas that cannot be used to make a weapon. Converting the gas to metal, fabricating components and assembling them with high explosives using dangerous and difficult technology that has never been used in Iran would take many years after a diversion of three tons of low enriched uranium gas from fully safeguarded inventories. The resulting weapon, if intended for delivery by missile, would have a yield equivalent to that of a kiloton of conventional high explosives.
Drawings of weapons found in Iran by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors are fakes, prepared by dissidents to harm Iran. Any drawing for a nuclear weapon program would be stored in a top secret vault and never seen by inspectors.
Please share this information with your cabinet, Members of Congress, all Americans, and leaders of other nations, and the United Nations; end sanctions against Iran’s nuclear programs and support strengthening Iran’s economy.
(Clinton Bastin directed U.S. programs for production of nuclear materials and nuclear components for weapons and the successful U.S. nonproliferation initiative with India. He was a consultant to U.S. national security agencies on proliferation threats in other nations and a leader in the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign. He reviewed in detail 1970 U.S. and Iranian plans for nuclear cooperation, and has maintained cognizance of Iran’s plans since that time.)
MR AMBASSADOR, PLEASE SHARE WITH OTHERS AT UN AND OTHERS AS APPROPRIATE, AND LET ME KNOW OF ANY SUGGESTIONS OR COMMENTS.
I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE HELP FROM YOU AND OTHERS CORRECTING THIS GREAT WRONG.
Chemical Engineer/Nuclear Scientist,
U.S. Department of Energy (Retired)