BERLIN—The prestigious Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security published on Wednesday a jaw-dropping report on its website outlining a newly revealed Iranian regime nuclear weapons plant that was discovered by Israel.The authors of the report indicate that “Iran should declare this site to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and allow its inspection, since the facility was designed and built to handle nuclear material subject to safeguards under Iran’s comprehensive safeguards agreement.” The three scientists David Albright, Sarah Burkhard and Frank Pabian wrote that "based on documents in the Iran Nuclear Archive, seized by Israel in early 2018, Iran's Amad Plan created the Shahid Mahallati Uranium Metals Workshop near Tehran to research and develop uranium metallurgy related to building nuclear weapons.”David Albright, the founder of the Institute for Science and International Security, told The Jerusalem Post that what "jumped out at us was the plant could have made cores for the first bomb parts." He added that over time the facility "could have made four nuclear missiles."The Shahid Mahallati plant allowed Iran to learn on a pilot scale to shape metal for atomic bomb parts, Albright said.The report said the “the facility was intended as a pilot plant, aimed at developing and making uranium components for nuclear weapons, in particular components for weapons-grade uranium, the key nuclear explosive material in Iranian nuclear weapon cores. The site was meant to be temporary, until the production-scale Shahid Boroujerdi facility at Parchin was completed.”The Islamic Republic of Iran’s activities at the Shahid Mahallati facility show deception, according to the report. “Iran has clearly been dishonest with the IAEA. During discussions in September 2015, ‘Iran informed the Agency that it had not conducted metallurgical work specifically designed for nuclear devices, and was not willing to discuss any similar activities that did not have such an application,'" the report read, however, the “activities at Shahid Mahallati and Shahid Boroujerdi are a dramatic contrast to that statement."The Shahid Mahallati facility, which is located near Tehran, “was capable of making the first cores of weapon-grade uranium, in case Shahid Boroujerdi was unfinished when weapon-grade uranium would have had become available," the authors added. The organization posted two images on its website that show two images of the site as it looked in 2002 and 2003.The scholars noted that while "the available information does not show that this facility had yet handled any uranium, the site was designed and built to process uranium into nuclear weapon components, under a plan to undermine Iran's obligation to subject all such material to safeguards under its comprehensive safeguards agreement, with full knowledge that its actions would violate its commitment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty not to manufacture nuclear weapons."In 2018, the US government withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal, because the US argued the deal did not stop Iran's drive to build nuclear weapons. The Iran pact provided sanctions relief to Tehran in exchange for Iran's pledge not to work on atomic weapons. The revelation by the Institute for Science and International Security will add more weight to America's position in its efforts to persuade European powers to abandon the JCPOA and reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran's regime has breached the JCPOA since it was negotiated in 2015.
The organization's report noted that "The Amad Plan was downsized in late 2003 before this plant processed any weapon-grade uranium, although it did process a considerable amount of a non-uranium surrogate material into weapon components. The use of a surrogate material allowed Iran’s nuclear weapons program to learn and practice the fabrication of key nuclear weapon components."The scientists wrote, "The key building of the site, the uranium metals workshop, was apparently gutted and abandoned between late 2010 and early 2011."