MEK: Tehran accelerating its nuclear program

'Jerusalem Post' obtains Iran opposition report, outlining various offices, companies, individuals working on Iran's nuke program.

May 12, 2012 12:34
3 minute read.
A bank of centrifuges at nuclear facility in Iran

Ayatollahs centrifuge 390. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Iran is accelerating its nuclear weapons program, according to a report Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) Iranian opposition group compiled and The Jerusalem Post obtained on Friday.

Publication of the report comes just days before Western powers are scheduled to begin a second round of talks with Iran in Baghdad.

The report first appeared in the Die Welt German daily, and Brussels-based Iran expert Emanuele Ottolenghi, who provided it to the Post, was asked by the paper to verify its contents.

The report and various additional charts outline the different offices involved in Iran’s weapons program and identify some 60 directors and experts working in various parts of SPND and 11 additional institutions and companies affiliated with the program.

The SPND headquarters is based in Mojdeh, a military facility near Tehran. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, whom western intelligence agencies have identified as the man responsible for the nuclear weapons program, heads the facility. He is under United Nations sanctions.

MEK also identified a facility called the “Center for Explosives, Blast Research and Technologies” – known by its Persian acronym METFAZ – which is based in a five-story nondescript office building in Tehran’s Pars neighborhood.

Scientists there are responsible for building high-explosives for nuclear detonators and conducting tests at the Parchin site, a facility long suspected of being connected to nuclear activity which Iran has refused to open to UN inspectors.

SPND, according to the report, is comprised of seven sub-divisions: 1) a division that works on the main element for the bomb, including the enriched uranium; 2) a division that shapes and molds the material needed to build a warhead; 3) a division that produces metals required for a nuclear warhead; 4) a division that produces high-explosive material used to cause a nuclear detonation; 5) a division which conducts research on advanced chemical materials; 6) a division that conducts electronic calculations required for building a nuclear warhead; 7) and a division which is responsible for laser activities needed for a nuclear weapon.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

“The information sharply contradicts the assessment by some that Iran has not yet made the decision to go forward with the weapons program, as well as the observation by others who suggest that the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has forbidden the development of a nuclear bomb, because it would be a ‘sin’ to do so,” the report said.

The report claims that the Fordow uranium enrichment facility built in a mountain near the city of Qom was built under the personal supervision of Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi. It said that experts who work at another facility involved in the weapons program are in direct contact with the Fordow site and supervise activities there.

“This makes increasingly clear the objectives with which the Fordow site was built,” the report said.

MEK, which is a member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has long been suspected of working closely with the Mossad and the CIA. In 2002, for example, the NCRI revealed the existence of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility which until then had not been known to the world.

Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the MEK report could be a “game changer” in Western perceptions of Iran’s nuclear program.

“Until now, intelligence agencies and policymakers surmised that Iran sought civil nuclear energy but kept the option open for nuclear weapons, while pending a decision from its religious leaders,” he explained.

“These documents support the opposite conclusions – namely that Iran’s program was always military and its civil nuclear component was just a façade. Iran decided long ago to make nuclear weapons – the only question is when.”

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