NewsSpecial WireBelgian security chief resigns over Iran nuke parts sale

Belgian security chief resigns over Iran nuke parts sale

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Iran Focus: London, Feb. 01 – The head of the Belgian federal security service (VS) was forced to resign after it emerged that his force oversaw sales of machines related to nuclear weapons production to Iran. Iran Focus

London, Feb. 01 – The head of the Belgian federal security service (VS) was forced to resign after it emerged that his force oversaw sales of machines related to nuclear weapons production to Iran.

Belgian press reported on Tuesday that Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx and Interior Minister Patrick Dewael jointly announced that VS chief Koen Dassen had submitted his letter of resignation.

The resignation came after talks between Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and his deputy prime ministers Onkelinx and Dewael, the daily ‘De Standaard’ reported on Tuesday.

A report presented by Committee I to the Belgian Senate on Tuesday noted that in November 2004 an Isostatic Press machine was supplied by the Temse-based firm Epsi to Iran.

The export breached international regulations which forbid the sale of nuclear-related goods to Iran.

The sale of the Isostatic Press was revealed to the public domain in a conference by the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran in London on January 20.

NCRI official Dowlat Nowrouzi told the news conference that Iran was carrying out illegal nuclear weapons activities at a top-secret site west of Tehran.

Tehran has successfully procured two types of equipment, the Hot Isostatic Press and the Hot Press, to shape enriched uranium as part of nuclear weapons production at the “Materials and Energy Research Centre” (Pazhuheshgah-e Mavad va Enerzhi), she said.

Both machines are banned items, she added.

The MERC site, located on the edge of Meshkin-Dasht near Karaj, forty kilometres west of the Iranian capital, was operating under the cover of a scientific and industrial research centre affiliated to the Ministry of Science and is run under the direction of Dr. Fatollah Moztarzadeh, Nowrouzi said.

She said that the information has been obtained by the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK), the group which had given accurate information about Tehran’s nuclear activities in the past.

“These machines are able to simultaneously use pressure and heat to produce uranium spheres for production of nuclear bomb. The combination of pressure and heat allows the metal to melt at a lower temperature”, she said.

The NCRI said that Tehran had attempted to obtain the machines from Western countries, including Belgium, under the cover of scientific research at Tehran University, Malek Ashtar University, affiliated to the Ministry of Defence, and Imam Hussein University, affiliated to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. “The producing countries declined to sell the machines to the Iranian regime and, for this reason, the mullahs’ agents procured the machines indirectly and through front companies and transferred them to Iran”, Nowrouzi said.

Iran had also managed to renovate and bring back into use a U.S.-made machine purchased some 30 years ago, the NCRI said, adding that presently five more Hot Press machines were being manufactured at the site.

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