The world’s most notorious proliferator of nuclear weapons technology recently admitted that he, together with top Pakistani officials, assisted Iran in its effort to develop nuclear weapons.
In an interview broadcast on Pakistani television August 31, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, A.Q. Khan, also told viewers that if Iran succeeds in “acquiring nuclear technology, we will be a strong bloc in the region to counter international pressure. Iran’s nuclear capability will neutralize Israel’s power.”
In the past, Khan has claimed religious and nationalist justifications for his proliferation of nuclear weapons technology and expertise. According to several experts, the Washington Times reported Wednesday, Khan’s “latest statement was an unusually direct claim of broad, official Pakistani support for an Iranian nuclear weapon.” During the interview (translated here), Khan describes how he and other Pakistani military officials facilitated deals between Iran and Pakistan’s own suppliers of materials and equipment needed to create nuclear weapons.
Khan’s rather explicit remarks condemn the statements of numerous Pakistani government officials over the years—including former President Pervez Musharraf—who have claimed that Khan operated alone as a rogue proliferator of nuclear technology and expertise, and who have denied ever providing support for either Iran or North Korea’s nuclear programs.
This latest revelation provides another sobering glimpse into the underground world of nuclear proliferation. If Khan is right and the Pakistani government has been complicit in assisting Iran in developing nuclear weapons, the connection between Tehran and Islamabad on the issue of nuclear weapons runs much deeper than what most people have previously thought.
It also raises some important questions. Does Pakistan continue to provide support to Iran’s nuclear weapons program? More importantly, how deep does that support run? Is it possible that Iran could acquire a nuclear weapon from Pakistan?
The possibility of some sort of nuclear axis between Iran and Pakistan is sobering, and one that, as Khan’s recent remarks show, and as Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has previously explained, is not nearly as unlikely as many have thought. ▪