Jeffrey LewisISIS Publishes Heinonen Notes

In March, the Washington Post printed two stories by Joby Warrick about Olli Heinonen’s briefing to the IAEA Board of Governors on weaponization work in Iran, based on the notes of diplomat who attended.

I asked “what else is in those notes?” Well, David Albright and ISIS have published the full text of the notes — or at least what I presume is the same set of notes that Warrick and others were given.


  1. Hass (History)

    Note what’s happened here: the US gives the IAEA the “alleged studies” material, the IAEA gives a presentation on the info, an anonymous US diplomat takes notes on the presentation and then selectively leaks to the media —- nice bit of recycling of unverfied claims in order to attribute them to the IAEA rather than the US.

  2. Steven Dolley (History)

    Motivation for the leaking of the notes aside, I found it useful to see some specifics about what the US is alleging, especially re: the notorious “laptop of doom.” If accurately conveyed in the notes, the Iranian responses were interesting too…how do you explain away research into explosive compression of hollow hemispheres of Pu and U metal? What possible civil applications for that?

  3. kerbihan

    Hass, please read the text:

    “Mr. Heinonen said during the briefing that the Agency had used documents from three sources: – its own information, – documents relating to procurement, – and information from several member states.”

    Of course, if you believe that the DDG is a Cheney puppet, then there is no point in arguing.

  4. anon

    Unfortunately, not enough information has been leaked to allow an accurate assessment of the claims being made. For instance, Mr. Heinonen may have made a factual a factual error in his claim that, as reported, an explosion at 600 meters “excludes the hypothesis of conventional explosives as well as chemical or biological charges.” This may be true for unitary explosions, but is not clear from the presented data whether it is also accurate for submunitions warheads. The Iraqi’s were working on fuzes to detonate the submunitions warhead for their Al Fat’h at about 2,000 meters. The DM 42 ET fuze for the MLRS rocket can be set for an “ideal height” of 1,200 meters to release DM 1399 AT mines. The CBU-79/B Combined Effects Munition has a ground selectable fuze from 90 to 900 meters in 10 settings. The Iranians claim to have developed and tested submunitions warhead for their Shahabs and it is thus possible that the warhead being described is that submunitions warhead. Without further information it is thus difficult to understand on what technical basis Mr. Heinonen is excluding the alternative “hypothesis.” His statement may well be valid, it is just not possible to know without the release of more information.

  5. wandering_cat (History)

    Steven, i agree with with you on the answers from the iranians.They’re definitely telling something. The most interesting one is the acknowledgement of a project 5.15 but not the 5.11.
    What kind of logic would lead to that? Version number reasoning (yes, we’re now at stage 5.15, we never released the 5.11)?

    Now, what if it would only mean the iranians have a more ample mining program that we’ve seen? If you look at the recent statements on ardakan and the extensive geological survey campaign, i would say they have a lot of ressources attributed on mining and conversion.

    As for the laptop of doom, am i the only one who was puzzled by the same scenario repeated a few weeks ago with the FARC?

    Do people leave too much on their laptop or do we witness another intelligence skill?

  6. hass

    The DDG isn’t Cheney’s puppet, and yet Cheney can’t hide behind the DDG either. Everyone knows that the source of the “alleged studies” (that’s what the IAEA report called them) is the US “laptop of death” — though naturally the IAEA would also add whatever of its own information it has obtained from elsewhere to this presentation but the allegations of weaponization studies come from the laptop and nowhere else.