Iran 'trying for nuclear warhead'

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The New York Times has published allegations that Iran is attempting to build a nuclear warhead. The claims come less than two weeks before a decision by the UN nuclear watchdog on whether to report Tehran to the Security Council over its suspected weapons programme.

An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman dismissed the report as an attempt to step up pressure on Tehran before the International Atomic Energy Agency meeting on 24 November.

According to The New York Times, senior American intelligence officials had shown the IAEA experts computer simulations contained on what they described as a stolen Iranian laptop. The US officials said the data was the strongest evidence so far that Iran was trying to develop a compact warhead for its Shahab missile, but they would not say where the laptop came from.

Diplomats told AP news agency that they expected Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the IAEA, to go to Tehran in the next few days to discuss a proposal that calls on Iran to move its uranium enrichment programme to Russia.