By WILLIAM J. BROAD, JOHN MARKOFF and DAVID E. SANGER
Published: January 15, 2011
The Dimona complex in the Negev desert is famous as the heavily guarded heart of Israelís never-acknowledged nuclear arms program, where neat rows of factories make atomic fuel for the arsenal.
Over the past two years, according to intelligence and military experts familiar with its operations, Dimona has taken on a new, equally secret role ó as a critical testing ground in a joint American and Israeli effort to undermine Iranís efforts to make a bomb of its own.
Behind Dimonaís barbed wire, the experts say, Israel has spun nuclear centrifuges virtually identical to Iranís at Natanz, where Iranian scientists are struggling to enrich uranium. They say Dimona tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, a destructive program that appears to have wiped out roughly a fifth of Iranís nuclear centrifuges and helped delay, though not destroy, Tehranís ability to make its first nuclear arms.
This is a fascinating description of how the Iranian nuclear program was temporarily "on hold."