Russian sources are now suggesting A. Litvinenko might have been involved in the smuggling of Polonium 210 to Iran. This is obviously farcical for two reasons:
First of all, this looks like an excellent public relations coup: Nothing else could shake Litvinenko’s credibility and appraisal in western public opinion more than his collusion with the alleged nuclear weapons programme of Iran. This rumour about Litvinenko’s smuggling is precisely meant to wreck his image. Is is furthered by leaked allegations of D. Kovtun that Litvinenko was in desperate need for money.
Secondly, the assumption Litvinenko was handling Polonium 210 without sufficient caution so as not to intoxicate himself does not go well with the allegedly high dose of intoxication of Litvinenko’s body. If the dose found in Litvinenko’s body in the autopsy was indeed 10-20 times higher than the lethal dose, he could have hardly inhaled it by accident.
Thirdly, Iran does not need Polonium 210 at the time. Given the half time of Polonium 210 of 138 days and the current state of Iran’s nuclear weapons programme, the Iranians don’t need this substance now – apart from the fact that Polonium 210 is not a state of the art triggering substance for nuclear explosions. It is much more likely that the Polonium 210 should have or has already been handed over to Chechen terrorists. Berezovsky’s links to Chechen terrorists are notorious; Berezovsky, Litvinenko and Achmed Zakayev are members of the same anti-Putin camp in exile.
But even the dirty bomb explanation is hardly credible. Dirty bombs are based on conventional explosive devices spreading radioactive material. Polonium ist not the preferred radioactive material for such bombs – for it is expensive and has a very low half time.
Summing up, I do not consider the hypothesis of the smuggling-related toxication of Litvinenko to be the most credible and plausible one for his death.
It is intriguing though that the possible involvement of western security services in the killing of A. Litvinenko is not more widely discussed. There are definitely circles in western countries who are interested in damaging ties to Russia and stand to profit from it.
It could be theorised that the Israeli Mossad could have been involved in this drama. Israeli-Russian ties are strained. Israel is upset by Russian deliveries of air defense systems like the Tor-M1 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran and armament sales to Syria. The latter is particularly annoying for Israel as Russian weapons meant for Syria are illegaly transferred to Hezbollah in Lebanon – such as anti-tank missiles.
Besides, arch enemies of the Putin administration live in Israel today – particularly former owners of Menatep/Yukos, like Vladimir Dubov and Leonid Nevzlin. Both men have been feverishly interested in wrecking both Putin’s and Russia’s image.