INFORMATION ON NEWLY-DETECTED
NUCLEAR SITES OF THE IRANIAN REGIME
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF RESISTANCE OF IRAN
May 27, 2003
Below, you will find hitherto undisclosed aspect of the Iranian regime's determined drive to acquire nuclear weapons. The information was compiled after extensive investigation by highly-placed sources of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) and put at the disposal of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
The Iranian Resistance had previously revealed the existence of two secret nuclear sites in Natanz and Arak in central Iran in August 2002. The revelation of these two key sites and their function in the mullahs' nuclear set-up exposed new dimensions of just how far they have advanced along the perilous path to the acquisition of the nuclear bomb.
The following information concerns the location and function of two hitherto unknown nuclear sites of the mullahs' regime in Hashtgerd region near Karaj, 40 km west of Tehran.
The mullahs' regime began to construct two nuclear sites at a large agricultural location in Hashtgerd region in the year 2000. One site is located at Lashkar-Abad village and another at Ramandeh village and are 5 kilometers away from each other. Both have been under the direct supervision of Reza Aghazadeh, the director of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization.
Before I go further into the function of these two sites, I would like to draw your attention to a fundamental point. The mullahs' regime, feeling the threat that would be posed to its nuclear facilities if they were uncovered, and drawing lessons from the raid on Iraq's Tammuz nuclear facilities in 1981, has adopted a two-fold method to foil such surgical military strikes by showcasing the nuclear site in Bushehr and turning it into the focal point of outside attention, thus providing cover for the development of other nuclear sites in the country. At the same time, the regime built up other nuclear laboratories and uranium enrichment sites in different parts of Iran by various agencies, so that even if one or two sites were destroyed in an attack, the project would survive and continued at other sites.
This policy has meant that there are three types of nuclear sites or centers operating in Iran:
A. Open sites such as Bushehr, which the regime intentionally places under the monitoring of the International Atomic Energy Agency as a ruse
B. Secret sites, such as the uranium enrichment plant in -Natanz and the heavy water production plant in Arak and the uranium mining project in Saghand near Yazd. These sites were critical for the regime's efforts to reach its ultimate goal and it tried very hard to keep them secret.
C. Smaller, more dispersed sites used for uranium enrichment. These sites not only act as complementary to principal sites such as Natanz, but they also ensure that in the case of air attacks or more intrusive intervention by the IAEA which might suspend activities in places like Natanz, these sites would still allow the mullahs to continue enriched uranium production.
In this report, we will be dealing with some of these complementary sites:
a. Lashkar-Abad site near Hashtgerd (Noor-Afza-Gostar Company)
Address: Noor-Afza-Gostar Company, Karaj-Hashtgerd Road, Soheilieh T-Junction, Soheilieh Road, on the right hand side before the village of Lashkar-Abad
This site is located in Chahardangeh District between Karaj and Hashtgerd in an area called Soheilieh. The site is well-known to the local people as "the Presidential Orchard".
- The site has a surface area of 80 hectares.
- The building contractor who built the site was a construction firm called Jahad-e Tosse-eye Silou (Silo Development Jihad). The company worked on the construction of the site and its buildings for two years. This was the same company that built part of the principal nuclear facilities in Natanz. Its employees and experts are ex-officers of the Revolutionary Guards. All the workers, even manual laborers, were brought in from Tehran and no indigenous construction worker was employed, which is a very strange practice for building construction in Iran.
- So far some 4 to 5 thousand square meters are under construction. There is a four-storey building that has been built for the administrative departments. A wall has been built around the entire compound.
- In a hall which measures 50 by 30 meters, several centrifuge machines have been installed for testing. The hail is similar to the laboratory in Natanz that has 1,000 centrifuge machines, but is smaller and has fewer machines.
b. Ramandeh village site
- Five kilometers away from the site at Lashkar-Abad there is another nuclear facility at the end of Ramandeh village.
Address: At the end of Karaj-Hashtgerd road on the right hand side there is a road to Ramandeh village and this site is situated alongside this road close to the village.
The site is built on a square-shaped plot of land which has a wall built around it and armed guards are on watch to protect it.
- Inside the walled area, there are several orchards and the building where the site is located is hard to detect. There are several warehouses in the orchard and Ramandeh Nuclear Site is inside one of the warehouses.
- The Atomic Energy Organization has acquired plots of agricultural land in the areas around the two sites and uses them for certain nuclear tests.
c. Functions of the two sites:
The sites are laboratories which in normal circumstances work as sub-stations for the main site in Natanz in the nuclear enrichment process. Their other function is to be used as substitutes for Natanz in case of military strikes or any interruption in its operations.
The regime's nuclear technology has reached such a level in the enriched uranium production that it is now able to conduct this process even in small labs.
d. Security regulations:
There are very strict security measures in operation at both sites in order to avoid any leak of information concerning the sites. Some of these measures are as follows:
- The telephone numbers of the sites are not given to anyone even senior officials.
- All information pertaining to the sites is classifies as secret.
- Personnel working in these sites are under strict orders not to give the address of their work place to anyone. They are not allowed to meet with anyone at these locations and any meeting with persons not working in the sites must take place elsewhere.
- Only authorized persons are allowed to enter the sites and no one without authorization is not allowed to approach them.
- After the completion of construction work on the sites, all the workers and employees of Silo Development Jihad Company were required to pledge in writing that they would not disclose any information on the site and its construction plans to anyone.
- Aft personnel have given written commitments not to talk about the sites and their functions outside the locations, even among themselves.
Front companies of the Atomic Energy Organization
The Atomic Energy Organization has set up many front companies in order to conduct its clandestine activities through them. These companies include:
- Hasteh Farayed Company
- Kavoshyar Company
- Energy Novin Company
- Novin Puneh Company
- Mesbah Energy Company
- Kala Electric Company
- Tavan Gostar Company
- Noor-Afza-Gostar Company
Noor-Afza-Gostar Company is one of the largest companies being run by the Atomic Energy Organization and the two sites at Hashtgerd operate under the cover of this company. The nominal CEO of Noor-Afza-Gostar Company is Dr. Jamshid Sabbaghzadeh, the adviser to AEO Director Reza Aghazadeh. Curiously, Dr. Sabbaghzadeh's work address is at the Atomic Energy Organization building, even though he is the CEO of Noor-Afza-Gostar Company.
Details of Noor-Afza-Gostar Company:
- Name of Company: Noor-Afza-Gostar
Registration number: 140510
Type of activity of the company as officially registered: import-export of authorized materials Registered address: Qods Township, Eivanak Street, Zarafshan Street, opp. Seventh Alley Members of the board of directors:
a. Rem Aghazadeh representing
Energy Novin Company (He is the director-general of the Atomic Energy Organization
b. Jamshid Sabbaghzadeh (the company's CEO and advisor to the director-general of AEO)
c. Mahmoud Ashraf Kashani
d. Mohammad Saeedi (the company's deputy CEO and head of the AEO international affairs department)
e. Babak Khodadoust
f. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri Rastegar, alternate member
The fact that the AEO director general and his top adviser and the head of the AEO international affairs department are all on the board of this company is an indication of the importance of Noor-Afza-costar for the Atomic Energy Organization and the sensitivity of the two sites that operate under its name.