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Iran Resumed Nuclear Program In 2004

From those celebrants of nuclear proliferation at Reuters:

Mohammad Mohaddessin, of the National Council for Resistance in Iran, uses satellite imagery to pinpoint what the group says is a previously unknown nuclear facility in Iran, on November 17, 2004.

Exile group says Iran still pursuing nuclear arms

By Mark John

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – An Iranian exile group accused Tehran on Tuesday of pursuing efforts to develop nuclear weapons, dismissing as incomplete a U.S. intelligence report that Iran’s nuclear arms programme was frozen in 2003…

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which first exposed Iran’s nuclear fuel programme in 2002, said it published information three years ago alleging that Tehran had restarted weapons-related work after a short break.

NCRI officials said they checked back with sources inside Iran after the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) was released, and those informants reported that work on nuclear weapons was still being pursued at three sites.

“The clerical regime is continuing its drive to obtain nuclear weapons,” Mohammad Mohaddessin of the France-based group, listed as a terror organisation in the United States, told a news conference in Brussels…

Mohaddessin said the NCRI agreed with the NIE assessment that activities were suspended in 2003, and specified that in March 2003 Iran closed down a weaponisation site in Lavisan, northeast Tehran, fearing it might be detected.

But it transferred the weapons activities to a new site in Lavisan and later to two additional sites, information the NCRI had made public from November 2004 onwards, he said.

Asked how Washington’s entire intelligence community and the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, could have missed evidence of this, he said: “Exactly as they missed Natanz (Iran’s uranium enrichment plant) and (the original) Lavisan.”

Mohaddessin said the new Lavisan site hosted research on laser enrichment of uranium, while two whole-body counters — used for detecting radiation — were in use at a university in the central city of Isfahan and a hospital outside Tehran.

He said Iran continued research after 2003 on a bomb initiator and on other technologies that could be used in a nuclear bomb.

Mohaddessin acknowledged that some of those technologies had civilian uses but concluded: “It is very obvious that the clerical regime resumed its military activities in 2004.”

NCRI officials said their sources included people with contacts with high-ranking Iranian officials, military officers and the Revolutionary Guard, as well as individuals working inside the new Lavisan facility…

This claim is compelling for a couple of reasons.

First, these are the very people who first uncovered Iran’s nuclear weapons program in the first place.

And, more importantly, this group claimed the Iranians stopped and then resumed their nuclear program long before anyone else noticed that they had even stopped.

From the November 18, 2004 edition of the Washington Post:

Powell Says Iran Is Pursuing Bomb

Evidence Cited of Effort to Adapt Missile

By Robin Wright and Keith B. Richburg
Thursday, November 18, 2004; Page A01

SANTIAGO, Chile, Nov. 17 — The United States has intelligence that Iran is working to adapt missiles to deliver a nuclear weapon, further evidence that the Islamic republic is determined to acquire a nuclear bomb, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said Wednesday.

Separately, an Iranian opposition exile group charged in Paris that Iran is enriching uranium at a secret military facility unknown to U.N. weapons inspectors. Iran has denied seeking to build nuclear weapons…

Meanwhile, in Paris, the exile group charged that Iran was still enriching uranium and would continue to do so despite the pledge made Sunday to European foreign ministers. The group, the National Council for Resistance in Iran, or NCRI, also claimed that Iran received blueprints for a Chinese-made bomb in the mid-1990s from the global nuclear technology network led by the Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan. The Khan network sold the same type of bomb blueprint to Libya, which has since renounced its nuclear ambitions.

Mohammad Mohaddessin, chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the Paris-based NCRI, told reporters at a news conference that the Khan network delivered to the Iranians a small quantity of highly enriched uranium that could be used in making a bomb. But he said the amount was probably too small for use in a weapon.

The NCRI is the political wing of the People’s Mujahedeen organization, which the State Department has labeled a terrorist organization. The NCRI helped expose Iran’s nuclear ambitions in 2002 by disclosing the location of the government’s secret uranium enrichment facility at Natanz. But many of its subsequent assertions about the program have proven inaccurate.

On Wednesday, Mohaddessin used satellite photos to pinpoint what he said was the new facility, inside a 60-acre complex in the northeast part of Tehran known as the Center for the Development of Advanced Defense Technology. The group said that the site also houses Iranian chemical and biological weapons programs and that uranium enrichment began there a year and a half ago, to replace a nearby facility that was dismantled in March ahead of a visit by a U.N. inspections team.

The group gave no evidence for its claims, but Mohaddessin said, “Our sources were 100 percent sure about their intelligence.” He and other group members said the NCRI relies on human sources, including scientists and other people working in the facilities and locals who might live near the facilities and see suspicious activities.

The IAEA, the U.N. nuclear monitoring body, had no immediate comment on the claims but said it took all such reports seriously.

The agency has no information to support the NCRI claims, according to Western diplomats with knowledge of the U.N. body’s investigations of Iran.

Some diplomats and arms control experts privately discounted the Iranian group’s latest claim, saying it appeared designed to undermine the deal that the Tehran government signed with Britain, France and Germany. In Tehran on Wednesday, Iranian officials said they considered the enrichment suspension temporary and contingent upon a favorable decision at the IAEA meeting next week and on quick progress in talks next month on long-term guarantees that Iran can apply nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Note that this group was also right about Iran having nuclear warhead blueprints.

Unfortunately, all of this will be ignored by our establishment (media and government), since they have already got the story they like.

And they will stick to it come hell and high water.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, December 11th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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