iran nuclear workers 298.
(photo credit: AP)
Just one day after a Der Spiegel report which claimed that new intelligence acquired by Germany's BND offered conclusive proof that Iran's nuclear program had a military angle, a Revolutionary Guards commander on Tuesday declared that the country planned to inaugurate "several new missiles and arms projects" in February, Reuters reported.
"Iran's Defense Ministry will inaugurate several missiles and arms projects during the Fajr (Dawn) 10-day period, marking the victory of the 1979 Islamic revolution," Massoud Jazayeri said during a news conference, which was quoted by Reuters. Jazayeri was also quoted as saying that new satellite projects would be unveiled at the same time.
The 31st anniversary of its 1979 Islamic revolution begins on February 1, and will continue until the 10th of the month.
The announcement will likely only stoke the latest furor which has followed Der Spiegel
's revelation of the damning German intelligence showing the Iranian nuclear program's military side.
Such documents, as well as information passed on to Western intelligence agencies by Iranian defectors and sources within Iran, are causing growing alarm among US and European leaders. In its report, Der Spiegel
assessed that the White House may consequently raise threat levels from yellow to red. World leaders and even the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said the magazine, are beginning to understand that rumors of Iranian defiance, noncompliance and warmongering are neither Israeli propaganda nor a figment of the imagination.
Reports which have surfaced in recent years hint that Iran's National Energy Council may not be the only body to which its nuclear scientists answer. In fact, according to Der Spiegel,
Iranian Science, Research and Technology Minister Kamran Daneshjoo - a close ally of the country's hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - worked for several years at a Teheran research and development center devoted to military technology. This government-sponsored scientific body is believed by Western intelligence agencies to have become subservient to Iran's defense ministry. Vague estimates state that the body, headed by 48-year-old Revolutionary Guard officer Mohsen Fahrizadeh, now deals in "high technology" in a manner that differs greatly from that of the country's energy council.
suggested that the two bodies divide the labor of nuclear research and development between them, with the energy council focusing on uranium enrichment - the production of what could potentially evolve into fissile warhead material - and the defense ministry responsible for research on warheads compatible with Iran's North Korean-developed Shahab ballistic missile line.