Iran Nuclear NewsOpposition: Iran consolidates nuclear bomb effort

Opposition: Iran consolidates nuclear bomb effort


AP: An Iranian opposition group said Friday that Tehran’s leaders have consolidated several scattered nuclear research efforts in a single new defense agency geared to streamline weapons development.

The Associated Press

By DOUGLAS BIRCH, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Iranian opposition group said Friday that Tehran’s leaders have consolidated several scattered nuclear research efforts in a single new defense agency geared to streamline weapons development.

The People’s Mujahedeen, or MEK, told The Associated Press that Iran’s defense ministry established the new agency in March to merge various nuclear-related programs.

The State Department had no immediate comment on the report. Some of MEK’s past claims about Iran’s nuclear program have been confirmed, while others have not.

An MEK spokesman said the Organization for New Defense Research is led by Moshen Fakhrizadeh, a physicist long suspected of running Iran’s secret nuclear projects.

The U.N. Security Council placed Fakhrizadeh under an asset freeze and travel ban after Iran refused to make him available to International Atomic Energy Agency investigators.

Iran has repeatedly said it is interested only in the peaceful uses of nuclear technology. The United States and many other countries believe Iran is laying the groundwork for building a bomb, though it is not clear if it has committed itself to doing so.

MEK spokesman Alireza Jafarzadeh said Iran’s clear goal is to join the club of nuclear weapons states. “This is a very advanced, sophisticated nuclear weapons program with all the necessary elements to build a nuclear weapon,” Jafarzadeh said.

Jafarzadeh said Iran has merged its secret nuclear programs because it believes it can continue to deny international inspectors access to sensitive sites and scientists like Fakhrizadeh.

“They have learned how to dodge the international community, how to obtain what they need using front companies,” Jafarzadeh said.

The MEK, which is dedicated to the overthrow of the regime in Tehran, is currently lobbying the Obama administration to be removed from the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.

The group committed a series of bombings and assassinations in Iran in the 1970s and early 1980s, and fought on the side of Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war. But MEK says it has renounced violence, and that its extensive network of sympathizers inside Iran produces valuable intelligence.

The group has built bipartisan support among many members of Congress and former senior U.S. government officials, although it is regarded with skepticism by other current and former diplomats and academic specialists. Some analysts suspect MEK has ties to Western intelligence services, but the group has denied this.

Jafarzadeh said the headquarters of Iran’s new nuclear organization, known by its Farsi acronym SPND, is located adjacent to the Malik Ashtar University of Technology in northeast Tehran.

The SPND’s six sections include a directorate as well as research labs for physics, metallurgy, chemistry, explosives and nuclear safety, he said.

The MEK spokesman said Iran’s nuclear organization evades sanctions and buys advanced technology — including devices that measure a person’s exposure to radiation and the triggers for nuclear weapons — through a variety of front companies.

Latest news

The Real ‘Separatists’ Are Iran’s Rulers

Dictatorships are marked by the absence of a balanced government, political and social instability, significant human rights violations, and...

The Role of Students and Universities in Iran’s Nationwide Uprising

In the national uprising of the people of Iran, which started in mid-September this year, the students played a...

Snapback Sanctions, a Must Response to Iran’s Human Rights Abuse and JCPOA Violations

The protests in Iran have been going on for more than two months, even though the regime is cracking...

Growing Disintegration Among Iran Regime’s Forces

Iran has been shaken by a wave of nationwide protests since mid-September. The trigger was the death of the...

Grim Tidings for Iran’s Regime After Approval of UN Fact-Finding Mission

After many discussions and debates, the United Nations Human Rights Council has approved a fact-finding mission to investigate the...

Iranian People’s Resistance Changed the Appeasement Policy

Soon after the new US government started its obligations in January 2021, hand in hand with the European governments...

Must read

Iran’s Poor Economic Outlook

The Iranian economy is shrinking and showing negative growth,...

U.N. report may show slower growth in Iran nuclear stockpile

Reuters: A U.N. nuclear watchdog report due this week...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you