Ayatollahs centrifuge 390.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
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
The report first appeared in the Die Welt
German daily, and
Brussels-based Iran expert Emanuele Ottolenghi, who provided it to the Post
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
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
“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.
increasingly clear the objectives with which the Fordow site was built,” the
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
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.”