The names and addresses of 60 Iranian experts employed by 11 different Iranian agencies under the control of the Iranian Defense Ministry were revealed Saturday, May 12, by the main Iranian opposition Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI).
This is the first time an extensive, highly secret, central organizational structure dedicated to building a nuclear weapon has been revealed in detail – specifically the Ministry of Defense under the command of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, which also runs the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant.
The information updated to April 2012 was provided by “sources within the Iranian regime’s agencies, including military institutions.”
It contradicts the fundamental conclusion reached by the US and five world powers and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – that Iran’s nuclear program is not run by a single organization – on the basis of which they entered into negotiation with Tehran. Most of all, it refutes another key argument heard in the West that Iran has not yet decided to actually build a weapon because Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei’s said it would be a “sin.”
The Mujahedin-e Khalq, which Tehran accuses of collaborating with US and Israeli intelligence to assassinate its nuclear scientists, clearly timed the publication of its findings for 11 days before the Six Powers were due to hold a second round of nuclear talks with Iran in Baghdad on May 23, debkafile’s intelligence and Iranian sources report.
Ahead of the meeting, US administration sources put about word that a compromise deal developed in the direct backdoor channel between Washington and Tehran had a good chance of coming before the meeting. It was said to consist of three points of accord: Allowing uranium enrichment up to 5 percent purity to continue; barring enrichment up to 20 percent (effectively discontinuing work at Fordow); and exporting Iran’s entire 20 percent in stock to prevent its use for bomb production.
According to debkafile’s Iranian intelligence sources, there is no such deal: Tehran is not willing either to stop 20 percent uranium enrichment or shut down the Fordow plant. Just the opposite: DEBKA-Net-Weekly, the only Western publication following the secret US-Iranian negotiations, last week quoted a message from Khamenei to President Barack Obama flatly refusing to close Fordow, whose sole purpose is the production of 20 percent grade uranium which brings the fuel a short step before weapons grade.
After procuring Washington’s consent to 5 percent enrichment – over strong Israeli protests – Tehran has been encouraged to fight for 20 percent as well. The probable point of accord would be a ceiling on quantity.
Other American sources most recently explained their optimism about a successful culmination of the secret talks by Tehran’s admission for the first time that it was engaged in developing a nuclear weapon, which it hitherto denied. This laid the issue open to negotiation.
All in all, Jerusalem takes issue with US acceptance of the above deal as “bad for Israel.” It refuses to accept anything less than a complete halt of all uranium enrichment forthwith, the shutdown of Fordow and the removal of every scrap of enriched uranium from Iran.
This position was put firmly before the European Union Foreign Executive Catherine Ashton by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the heads of his unity government, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and designated Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, last Wednesday, May 9.
She arrived in Jerusalem the day after the expanded Netanyahu government was formed to find out where it stood on the Iranian question.
The exhaustively detailed Mujahedin-e Khalq document presents a completely new picture of a well-advanced and centralized nuclear weapons program, quite different from the one broadcast by the US and its fellow nuclear negotiators – and even by some Israeli circles.
Refuting the belief Iran has not actually started building a nuclear warhead or bomb, the Iranian opposition group provides chapter and verse to demonstrate that Iran is way past the decision and flying ahead at top speed on its manufacture.
The project is revealed to be working out of the “headquarters of the Iranian Defense Ministry’s SPND (New Defense Research Organization) at the Mojdeh site in the western part of Malek Ashtar University in the Lavizan region.”
(This university was first exposed in 2009 along with its three campuses in Tehran, Isfahan and Urma.)
Where the document breaks startling new ground is in detailing the SPND’s 7 sub-sections, “each of which conducts research and tests in a specific field:”
1. Working on the main element for the bomb, i.e. enriched uranium and fissile material.
2. Shaping and molding the required material, including metal elements, to build a warhead.
3. Producing metals required for building a nuclear warhead.
4. Producing high-explosive material used to detonate a nuclear bomb.
5. Conducting research on advanced chemical material.
6. Blue prints and carrying out electronic calculations required for building a nuclear warhead.
7. Laser activities applicable in the nuclear field.
To each sub-division, the Mujahedin-e Khalq document has attached diagrams of its internal structure plus the full names and addresses of its heads, officers, researchers and the liaison offices among the departments. Some are provided with their landline and cell phone numbers. The information is said be updated to April 2012.
In response to these revelations, some official American sources commented that they could not be confirmed and were skeptical about the document’s credibility. Our intelligence sources note that all of this Iranian group’s previous disclosures in the past nine years have proved accurate.
DEBKAfile Special Report