Iran's scientists could produce a basic truck-sized nuclear bomb this year, German Magazine Der Spiegel reported Monday.
Tehran now needs to work on compressing such bomb so it can be fitted on a ballistic missile, the magazine says. According to estimates, Iran could reach that stage by sometime between 2012 and 2014.
Der Spiegel's report is based on secret intelligence information handed over to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
According to the report, Iran's nuclear program, which answers to the country's Defense Ministry, includes a secret military branch that engages in the program's military aspects and is responsible for Tehran's nuclear sites.
"The Iranians are believed to have conducted non-nuclear tests of a detonating mechanism for a nuclear bomb more than six years ago," the German magazine says.
The secret arm, known as the Department for Expanded High-Technology Applications, constitutes "the secret heart of Iran's nuclear weapons program," Der Spiegel says.
According to the report, the secret branch is headed by Minister of Science, Research and Technology Kamran Daneshjoo and senior scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who also serves as a senior Revolutionary Guard officer.
According to the information presented in the report, a computer seized in Iran years ago contained highly volatile information, which convinced officials that the Iranian regime is eager to develop a nuclear bomb and is at advanced stages of the project.