Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 10, 2011

My Nanodiamonds Analysis Starts to Kill The IAEA's Case

Before the recent IAEA report was published I looked into the available information about the Ukrainian scientist Vyacheslav Danilenko mentioned in a Washington Piece as a "former Soviet weapons scientist" who supposedly was helping the Iranians with there nuclear program.

I found that the Dr. Danilenko's main scientific record and capacity was in the field of producing Nanodiamonds through explosions and his collaboration with Iran's acclaimed nanotechnology industry and research was with regards to Iran's nanotechnology program not with regards to nukes.

A close reading of the IAEA report after it was released confirmed my analysis.

Gareth Porter of Inter Press Service added some bits to my analysis in a piece published yesterday.

Now even more confirmation is coming in. Via The Hindu:

The Soviet scientist was not named in the IAEA report but the Kommersant daily easily identified him as Vyacheslav Danilenko, a pioneer in developing the technology of producing nanodiamonds by explosion. Nanodiamonds are used in the manufacture of lubricants and rubber.

Contacted by the newspaper, the 76-year-old scientist, now retired, refused to discuss his work in Iran, saying only: “I’m not a nuclear physicist and I’m not a father of Iran’s nuclear programme.”

His former colleague confirmed Mr. Danilenko’s words. Vladimir Padalko, head of a company producing nanodiamonds, said experts from the IAEA and the U.S. State Department had interviewed him several times about Mr. Danilenko’s work in Iran.

“I explained to them that nanodiamonds have nothing to do with nuclear weapons,” Mr. Padalko told Kommersant.

Reuters also covers the Kommersant piece.

More people are taking a deeper look into this now. It seems likely that the whole case will blow up into the IAEA's face and in the face of David Albright who, according to Porter, was the one who slipped the scientist's name to the Washington Post and other media.

After knowing the name it was simply diligent use of search engines and some intelligent combining of the available information to find what Danilenko's work was really about.

A lot of the IAEA "evidence" that it has interpreted as "nuclear" stuff, the explosion chamber in Parchin, the hemispheric shell with an array of high explosives, the exploding bridge-wire detonators and other details, are all very well explainable with Iran's work on nanodiamond production. There is nothing exclusively "nuclear" to it. Without that exclusivity the case the IAEA tried to make doesn't exist anymore.

Why the IAEA and the main stream media have not better researched on Danilenko's work, or done this and then disregarded the obvious conclusions, is beyond me. It is likely only explainable by heavy U.S. pressure on the IAEA head Yukiya Amano and a generally pliable media.

The IAEA should be deeply embarrassed when even a former inspector with knowledge of the evidence calls its recent work "unprofessional".

The case the U.S. pressed so hard for to make turned out to be a dud. As Cyrus Safdari of Iran Affairs notes in a comment here:

Actually .. it appears to me that exposing this "secret annex" was the worst thing the US could have done. It showed its cards, metaphorically speaking, and turned out to have been bluffing. The "evidence", long touted as containing damning proof of an Iranian nuclear weapons ambition, is now characterized even in the mainstream media as "thin" (Christian Science Monitor) and "phoney" (Guardian)

I agree with that analysis. The Obama administration managed to shot another decisive own goal.

As Arnold Evans notes this was, after the Hasaka case, the second time in just two weeks that this writer caused the crash of false allegations made by the IAEA.

Hello? Vienna? IAEA? How about a decent job offer for this writer. If only to help you to avoid more such facepalm moments. 

Posted by b on November 10, 2011 at 16:33 UTC | Permalink


Bravo b.

Posted by: Outraged | Nov 10 2011 17:25 utc | 1

oh shit, now i'm gonna have to update my post and it's only been on our front page for less than 15 minutes.

you're so killer.

Posted by: annie | Nov 10 2011 17:30 utc | 2

An English version of the Kommersant report is now available.

Posted by: b | Nov 10 2011 17:48 utc | 3

So, back to the question. Is Iran developing nuclear weaponry? If so, does any other nation, or the United Nations, or Nato, have any business telling Iran they can't, if they are?

I think the probability is substantial that Iran is developing nuclear weaponry, and I don't base that conjecture on anything the MSM has proffered. I base it off of logic. The efficacy of the program and its potential magnitude is a matter of conjecture, but in the least, they will develop enough of a program to provide a retaliatory strike against Israel should Israel decide to preemptively attack. Considering the state of world affairs, I believe no nation has any business telling Iran it cannot develop nuclear weapons. Clearly, if Iran is doing so, they are doing it as a deterrent to hostile and aggressive actions employed by Israel and the U.S. Iran is not a militarily aggressive nation. There is no precedence to assert otherwise, all misinterpreted rhetoric from Ahmadinejad aside.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Nov 10 2011 18:01 utc | 4

So, back to the question. Is Iran developing nuclear weaponry? If so, does any other nation, or the United Nations, or Nato, have any business telling Iran they can't, if they are?

1. Answer. No Iran is not developing nuclear weaponry. It is developing nuclear weapon capability. The potential to build real nuclear weapons when needed. Some 40+ states on this planet have nuclear weapon capability with Japan and Brazil having the most ready programs.

2. Answer. If Iran breaks its international contracts, specifically the NTP, other countries have reason to be concerned and to inquire. So far Iran has NOT broken its NPT commitments, though the U.S. (following Israel) tries to claim so.

Posted by: b | Nov 10 2011 18:52 utc | 5

Since most Americans don't understand that enriching uranium for nuclear power is child's play compared to enriching it for nuclear weapons, then they probably also don't know that you don't need nuclear power to produce nanodiamonds, or any other nano-material for that matter. I also imagine that most Americans don't know that most countries that produce nuclear power have no desire whatsoever of making the giant step towards producing nuclear weapons.

This is what happens when you live in a country like the US that has fallen behind most other industrialize countries, both in terms of math and science. It makes it terribly easy for the "Bomb Iran" crowd and other neocon propagandists to fool you into believing that any country that produces nano-materials, be it nanodiamonds or whatever, must be using nuclear power to do so, and any country that produces nuclear power also wants to produce nuclear weapons and is just one baby step away from doing so.

Posted by: Cynthia | Nov 10 2011 19:25 utc | 6

But Cynthia @#6 that is the entire point of the current de-education process which having achieved so much success in amerika has been transplanted to europe on the back of the phony eurozone crisis.

Spain has begun stripping money outta education & other states will follow as the europols come to understand that this is the only way they can save their asses.
The equation is simple a well educated informed society able to access information with 'new' technology = no need for leaders decisions can be made by the masses. #Occupy is one example of people demanding an end to political elites so they can rule themselves. Politicians of all stripes loathe this notion and instinctively favour reducing their populations' ability to reason for themselves.
The old methods of secrecy and 'special knowledge' which were the last vestiges of an excuse for a power elite, simply don't cut it an information age. As demonstrated in here.
The only 'cure' is wind back the clock on education to keep citizens ignorant and unquestioning of their betters. Expect much more of this because the straussians firmly believe it has been the gradual enlightenment of the masses over the last few centuries which culminated in the so-called century of man, the 20th century.
I don't believe they will succeed in turning back the clock, simply because the shift in global wealth outta the whitefella nations is likely to make those nations too impotent to achieve any sustained program, but there will be horrific changes to public education, and the next generations are unlikely to received the same sort of 'unfocused' schooling most of us delighted in.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 10 2011 20:14 utc | 7

I have often thought the same, Morocco Bama @#4.

Let me also add that the US and Israel are cowardly bullies. And like all cowardly bullies, they won't pick a fight with someone who is capable of fighting back. Why do think the US invariably wages wars in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan whose firepower is far beneath its own? Why don't the Americans ever wage wars in countries like Russia and China who are on equal footing with them in terms of firepower? No profession baseball team would ever take on a team of little-league players, so why would the US military want to take on a team of little-league soldiers like the ones in Iraq or Afghanistan?

So my point is this: if you don't want to see the US get into yet another bottomless quagmire in yet another oil-rich Muslim country, that doesn't want to be an American or Israeli puppet, like was the case with Iraq and Libya, then you should hope and pray that Iran acquires a nuclear deterrent as quickly as possible.

Posted by: Cynthia | Nov 10 2011 20:59 utc | 8

The only 'cure' is wind back the clock on education to keep citizens ignorant and unquestioning of their betters.

or to make outcasts of anyone who dares think outside the box. screaming 'conspiracy theorists' like wild banshees so people will just stfu. i think that works better here than in europe but it can't hold indefinitely.

Posted by: annie | Nov 10 2011 21:10 utc | 9

One advantage of the wild west of the internet is that it is possible for a site like MOA to take down international respected reports - and be noticed.

Before the internet it would have been difficult to assemble the information, and almost impossible to get anyone to notice once you had it.

It is developing nuclear weapon capability.

I guess what still confuses me is that with all the threats about bomb bomb bomb Iran by the US and Israel is that it seems to me that having nuclear weapons is in Iran's best interest. There is little downside and huge upside. What is the US going to do - boycott Iran? On the other side of the ledger, the non-stop threats of nuclear war will stop. This is the only way they will stop. They will not stop until Iran gets nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, it's a win/win situation for Iran. It looks like Israel and the US are forcing Iran to do exactly what they do not want.

Posted by: edwin | Nov 10 2011 21:57 utc | 10

One more item on Dr. Vyacheslav Danilenko. He has been a frequent visitor to the US. Apparently, his activities in Iran has been known to US officials since 2004, possibly longer. To call this man involved in nuclear development in Iran and then allowing him to US, having him present seminars at US universities doesn't make sense. Dr. Vyacheslav Danilenko has been to the US peddling his nanodiamonds many times. Here is a seminar he gave in 2008 at nanotechnology center at Drexel University in Philadelphia in 2008. One would assume he would have been whisked to gitmo, or some black site, if he was involved in Iran's nuclear weapons program.

Posted by: Fred Rey | Nov 11 2011 2:27 utc | 11

Over at Mandoweiss I posted this:

B, whoever he or she is, deserves some kind of internet reporter prize. These are people who work without pay and simply synthesizie publicly available information. You know this reminds me of IF Stone who made a career of reading public records and connecting the dots.

In my first comment on this breaking story I predicted that Gareth Porter would put the pieces together (at the time I was quite unaware of Alabama). Well he did today and he generously cited Moon of Alabama for the scoop. B acknowledged that Porter helped move the story line (namely showing that much of information in the IAEA report came from Israel).

annie suggested that I repost it here.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 11 2011 2:27 utc | 12

Hey, this is really good work, thanks.
This issue will NOT die anytime soon, and they will try to get their war come hell or high water. One story will be fabricated right on the heels of the last one, and so on. It's so important to stay vigilant and counter the propaganda on this.

Posted by: Rob | Nov 11 2011 2:28 utc | 13

hey toivo, welcome..

Posted by: annie | Nov 11 2011 3:17 utc | 14

All this fear-mongering about nuclear weaponry is silly. No country would ever be so barbaric as to actually use nuclear weapons.

Oh, wait ...

Posted by: Watson | Nov 11 2011 4:03 utc | 15

You got a mention and credit on Fair Counterspin by
Cyrus Safdari.

Posted by: YY | Nov 11 2011 6:34 utc | 16

@edwin - ... it seems to me that having nuclear weapons is in Iran's best interest. There is little downside and huge upside. What is the US going to do - boycott Iran? On the other side of the ledger, the non-stop threats of nuclear war will stop. This is the only way they will stop. They will not stop until Iran gets nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, it's a win/win situation for Iran. It looks like Israel and the US are forcing Iran to do exactly what they do not want.

Having actually nuclear weapon has great costs and includes serious permanent headaches. Just see how Pakistan panics over the security of its nukes. When the "international community" finally recognizes that Iran as "nuclear weapon capability", i.e. can make nukes over a weekend or two, than this will have the same effect as having nukes but with much less costs.

Posted by: b | Nov 11 2011 6:44 utc | 17

b - there is an altenate explanation. The White House administration really, really, really does not want to attack Iran. Obama knows that if he says so he will lose in 2012 so the WH pressures the IAEA to publish an obviously BS report that anyone with internet access can destroy, just like the Hasakah crap (twenty minutes in Google was probably enough), thus the WH can now be almost certain that there will be no war with Iran.

If there have been any visits by real old-school British diplomats (not that tosspot Dave "Hug a Hoodie" Cameron and or any of his pathetic Chipping Norton Massiv) to the WH in th last year, then I would say the above hypothesis is a dead cert!

Posted by: blowback | Nov 11 2011 14:47 utc | 18

Looks like the next step is to try and remove the focus from Danilenko to something that might stand up better ....

UN nuclear report puts Iran "mystery man" in spotlight

Posted by: David A. | Nov 11 2011 15:09 utc | 19

I wonder if "Diplomats" in Vienna have been reading b's work and feel they need to counter/stifle?

Diplomats: Ex-Soviet helped Iran's nuke program

Posted by: David A. | Nov 11 2011 16:12 utc | 20

The IAEA report is a rehash of the United Snakes (US/Israel) prior contributions, theories, and conjecture (CIA planted Laptop and all) regardng Irans nuclear project. Israel's (lawyer) ZioNazi Dennis Ross won't be around to run cover for the pariah Jews of Israel anymore. Nothing new under the sun, huh folks?

Posted by: TheAZCowBoy | Nov 12 2011 5:00 utc | 21

ISIS has a "new report" on Vyacheslav Danilenko on their website:

In the debate about the November 11 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards report, some have falsely implied that Vyacheslav Danilenko did not know anything about nuclear weapons, or that he worked solely on nanodiamonds from the beginning of his research career, even though he worked at Chelyabinsk-70 for almost thirty years.1 The open source record demonstrates that these statements are incorrect and that Danilenko was involved in developing and using inwardly converging high pressure explosions and diagnostic systems to measure their effectiveness vital to the development of Soviet nuclear weapons. As such, the open source record supports that when he assisted Iran in the 1990s, he was an ex-Soviet nuclear weapons expert.

Posted by: blowback | Nov 30 2011 14:47 utc | 22

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