(photo credit: AP [file])
Iran's Revolutionary Guards are using cover companies to get around UN sanctions against the country's nuclear program, exiled Iranian Ali Reza Jafar Zadeh told reporters in the US on Wednesday.
Jafar Zadeh called on the US to take immediate action to prevent the country from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Earlier this month, the US announced that it was considering placing the Revolutionary Guards on its list of terror groups and imposing economic sanctions on the organization - a step that Jafar Zadeh said should have been taken long ago.
The Iranian exile added that the Revolutionary Guards were a mafia under the rule of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iran's spiritual leaders, and were the ones controlling the country, Israel Radio reported.
Jafar Zadeh exposed Iran's secret nuclear program in August 1992, revealing the location of the Natanz and Arak facilities, which contained nuclear enrichment equipment and heavy water making equipment, respectively. Both heavy water and enriched uranium are needed to produce atom bombs.
Meanwhile, Teheran announced that it has developed a new 900-kilogram "smart" bomb, state-run television reported Thursday, the latest in a recent series of announcements heralding new weapons systems.
The guided bomb, named Qased or Messenger, can be deployed by Iran's aging US-made F-4 and F-5 fighter jets and will be officially unveiled next week, said the broadcast quoting a Defense Ministry statement.
Iran often announces new weapons for its arsenal, but the United States maintains that while the Islamic Republic has made some strides, many of these statements are exaggerations.
Iran launched its own arms development program during its 1980-88 war with Iraq in response to a US-led arms embargo, and since 1992, the country has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, and missiles.
Earlier this month, Iran said it had started industrial-scale production of its own fighter jet, known as Azarakhsh or Lightning, to upgrade its elderly air force, much of which dates from before the 1979 revolution.
Iran last year test-fired an "ultra-horizon" missile, two powerful torpedoes and a Fajr-e Darya missile capable of avoiding radars and hitting several targets simultaneously using multiple warheads during large military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf.