Reuters: Iran has denied an exiled opposition group’s allegations that it is secretly seeking material to build an atomic bomb, says a senior official. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said on Wednesday Iran obtained weapons-grade uranium and a nuclear bomb design from Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb.
By Parisa Hafezi
TEHRAN – Iran has denied an exiled opposition group’s allegations that it is secretly seeking material to build an atomic bomb, says a senior official.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said on Wednesday Iran obtained weapons-grade uranium and a nuclear bomb design from Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s atomic bomb.
Hossein Mousavian, foreign policy committee secretary at Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said that was a lie.
“It is a well-timed lie as well. The group wants to make another fuss ahead of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) board meeting on November 25,” Mousavian told Reuters on Thursday. “They want to poison the board’s atmosphere.”
Since 2002, the NCRI has given accurate tip-offs about nuclear plants which Iran later declared to the U.N. agency.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Wednesday Washington had intelligence suggesting Iran was working on the technology to deliver a nuclear warhead on a missile.
“I have seen some information that would suggest they have been actively working on delivery systems,” Powell told reporters in Brazil.
“I’m talking about what one does with a warhead.”
The exile group also said Khan had given Iran a Chinese-developed warhead design sometime between 1994 and 1996.
“I have seen intelligence which would corroborate what this dissident group has said and it should be of concern to all parties,” Powell said.
Mousavian did not comment on what Powell said.
Iran says its atomic programmes are for electricity generation and other nations have been sceptical about U.S. claims following its flawed intelligence on Iraqi weapons.
“NO SECRET WORK”
The NCRI also said Iran was enriching uranium at an undeclared site in northeast Tehran, despite promising to halt such work as part of a deal with France, Britain and Germany.
After weeks of talks, Iran agreed on Sunday with the EU’s “Big Three” to suspend uranium enrichment and processing to avoid a referral to the U.N. Security Council when the IAEA board meets.
Enriched uranium can be used to fuel nuclear power stations, but if enriched further can be deployed in nuclear warheads.
Mousavian said Iran’s programme was under IAEA supervision. “We definitely do not have undeclared nuclear facilities or undeclared nuclear materials,” he said. “There is no secret work.”
An IAEA report of its two-year investigation of Iran’s nuclear programme said on Monday Iran had not diverted any of its declared nuclear materials to a weapons programme, but did not rule out the possibility secret atomic activities existed.
The NCRI is the political wing of the exiled group known as the People’s Mujahideen Organisation (MKO). Both are listed by the U.S. State Department and the EU as terrorist organisations.