NewsSpecial WireVerbatim: Opposition cites new intelligence on Iranian laser enrichment

Verbatim: Opposition cites new intelligence on Iranian laser enrichment

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Iran Focus: Paris, Nov. 19 – Iran Focus has obtained the text of a press conference by senior representatives of the Iranian opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which took place in Paris on Friday, Nov. 19. Mohammad Mohaddessin, chairman of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee, accused Tehran on Friday of using advanced laser technology to secretly enrich uranium and of lying to the United Nations nuclear watchdog body about the covert program. Iran Focus

Paris, Nov. 19 – Iran Focus has obtained the text of a press conference by senior representatives of the Iranian opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which took place in Paris on Friday, Nov. 19.

Mohammad Mohaddessin, chairman of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee, accused Tehran on Friday of using advanced laser technology to secretly enrich uranium and of lying to the United Nations nuclear watchdog body about the covert program. He added that Iran was seeking to develop a warhead to put on its medium-range Shahab-3 and Shahab-4 missiles.

“In recent months, the Iranian regime officially declared to the IAEA (the U.N. nuclear watchdog) that it has shut down its laser enrichment program … This is a completely false declaration by the Iranian regime … They are using this laser technology in at least two military sites, maybe more”, Mohaddessin told reporters.

On Wednesday, the NCRI held a separate press conference revealing a new secret Iranian nuclear site.

The full text of the conference follows:

NCRI Conference in Paris – 19 November 2004:
Iran’s Nuclear Project
Ministry of Defense Continues Secret Work on Laser Enrichment Program

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for coming. Today I would like to briefly inform you of two important issues concerning the Iranian regime’s nuclear activities.

1. Laser enrichment program

Contrary to its pledge to suspend all activities related to uranium enrichment, the Iranian regime is pursuing its secret work on laser enrichment of uranium.

The mullahs’ regime has been secretly pursuing extensive activities in laser enrichment for the past few years, and these activities have been kept completely hidden from IAEA inspectors.

The Iranian Resistance announced in May 2003 that research and experimentation related to laser enrichment has been going on in Lashkar-Abad in the Hashtgerd region of Karaj, west of Tehran. We announced at the time that research in this field was being conducted under the direction of Dr. Sabbagh Zadeh. At the time, the mullahs’ regime strongly denied our revelations. But just a few days ago, the IAEA report noted that the Iranian regime had failed to declare laser enrichment activities at Lashkar-Abad.

This site was established in 2000. Laser enrichment reasearch was conducted on 22 kilograms of natural uranium metal smuggled from the former Soviet Union.

Three months after our revelation of the secret site at Lashkar-Abad, the Iranian regime allowed IAEA inspectors to visit the site. The inspectors determined that the facility was operating a laser laboratory. When IAEA inspectors requested permission to take environmental samples at the laboratory, they were refused and were told this would be considered. Iranian officials claimed that the facility was originally devoted to laser fusion reaserach and laser spectroscopy, but that its focus had changed. That was an obvious lie; the regime had kept the site secret and was conducting laser enrichment research until we exposed it. IAEA requests to examine the equipment used in laser enrichment project and interview the scientists involved have been “deferred by Iran”.

The Iranian regime did not allow IAEA to visit the site for three months after our revelation, despite the fact that IAEA made the request almost immediately after we exposed the site. During that time key equipment and materials were removed from the site.

The Iranian regime acknowledged in October 2003 that work on a laser enrichment program had been going on for years. The regime had been developing a laser enrichment program based on two techniques: atomic vapor laser isotope separation and molecular isotope separation.

In recent months, the Iranian regime officially declared to the IAEA that it has shut down its laser enrichment program. Mr. El-Baradei’s report issued on September 3, 2004, noted, “Iran has also stated that it had destroyed its laser enrichment projects and its equipment and that it was not making or separating plutonium.”

This is a completely false declaration by the Iranian regime. The fact is that the Iranian regime had stopped the laser enrichment program that was conducted by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), but was pursuing it in the military system of the nuclear program. The laser enrichment project of the Ministry of Defense is pursued by Mohsen Fakhri-Zadeh at MoD and IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards) centers and is shrouded in secrecy. According to our information, laser enrichment activities are ongoing in at least two important military centers:

1. The Center for Development of Advanced Defense Technolgy (CDADT), located in Mozhdeh Street in Lavizan, north-east Tehran. The Iranian Resistance exposed this site two days ago. The center is run under the supervision of Dr. Fereydoon Abbasi, a Ministry of Defense laser specialist and one of the few experts in separation of isotopes. He is also in charge of the nuclear training and research at the Ministry of Defense. Dr. Abbasi plays a key role in the Ministry of Defense’s elaborate concealment program to keep the regime’s nuclear activities secret and deceive IAEA inspectors.

2. Laser enrichment activities in Parchin Military Complex 30 km southeast of Tehran. The center is a subsidiary of the Military Industrialization Organization. This center is run by the Aerospace Organization of the Ministry of Defense, where ammunitions, missiles and explosives are developed and tested. Chemical activities are also carried out in the same compound. There are also laser enrichment facilities at this center. The center is run under the supervision of Dr. Muhammad Amin Bassam, a laser exper of the MoD who works on laser enrichment and reports to Mohsen Fakhri-Zadeh.

Here are the names of a number of laser experts working for the MoD:

• Mohammad Amin Bassam: member of IRGC; tries to keep his activities in the mullahs’ nuclear program secret. He is a laser specialist and reports to Mohsen Fakhri-Zadeh. He is based at Parchin Complex and conducts laser research and experimentation there.
• Dr. Majid Reza Zadeh, Malek Ashtar University, Isfahan
• Massoud Askari, expert in laser application in nuclear projects, he gives lectures one day a week in the Physics Group in Imam Hussein University; has active relations with Dr. Abbasi in laser activities.
• Yousef Hatefi
• Javad Ahmadi

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