Information on Two Top Secret Nuclear Sites of the Iranian Regime (Natanz & Arak)

December 1, 2002

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear


National Council of Resistance of Iran

On the surface, the Iranian regime's main nuclear activities are focused on Bushehr's nuclear power plant, but in reality, many secret nuclear programs are at work without the knowledge of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

One of these top secret projects is the Natanz nuclear facility. Natanz is about 100 miles north of Isfahan. The other, is Arak's atomic facilities. Arak is a city in central Iran, 150 miles south of Tehran. These two projects had been kept secret until August 14, 2002, when the NCRI-US, in a press conference in Washington, DC, revealed the two nuclear weapons program sites of the Iranian regime. More details and new information, have since been available which is included in this report.

These revelations are the result of extensive research and investigation by the Committee of Defense and Strategic Studies of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, with the benefit of People's Mojahedin Organization's Command Headquarters Inside Iran.

Top Secret Project in Natanz:

1 -This is one of the secret projects of mullahs' Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), which is directly supervised by the clerical regime's Supreme National Security Council.

2 - This site is built for the production of nuclear fuel and supplying the reactors. In order to prevent any leaks, this project is pursued under the cover of a project for eradicating deserts.

3 - Its installations are located in the old Kashan- Natanz Highway, across a village called Deh-Zireh located 40 kilometers (25 miles) south east of Kashan. This area is under the jurisdiction of the Governor's Office of Kashan.

4 - The terrain of nearly 250,000 acres (100,000 hectares) considered for this project is protected by barbed wires. The area under construction is nearly 25 acres (10 hectares) with two large halls each nearly 6 acres (2.5 hectares), in an area near several administrative and technical buildings capable of holding 1,000 personnel. Underground facilities have also been considered for this project.

5 - Each of the halls is about 25 feet (8 meters) deep underground, protected by an 8 feet (2.5 meters) thick concrete, and surrounded by another protective shield to make it resistant against explosions. Strong foundations have been laid inside the halls, to install the proper equipment.

6 - The construction of the buildings of this project began two years ago by two construction companies, Jahad-e Towse'eh and Towse'eh- Sakhteman and is now near completion. Installation of technical facilities would subsequently begin.

7 - The project has cost 950 billion Rials so far. Its budget has been provided by the Supreme National Security Council, and is not overseen by the Budget and Planning Organization.

8 - The former Prime Minister, Mir-Hossein Moussavi, representative of the Supreme National Security Council, visited this project in early August. Gholamreza Aghazadeh, head of the Atomic Energy Organization, visits Kashan every month to oversee the progress in this project.

9 - To create a better cover, the Atomic Energy Organization has set up a front company called Kala-Electric through which it pursues all the project's needs for facilities and equipment. The office of this company is located at 33 Fifteenth Street, Seyed-Jamaleddin Assadabadi Avenue, in Tehran.

10 - The officials of this company have made several trips to China and India in the year 2001.

11 - The director of this company is Davood Aqajani who is also the managing director of Natanz Project. The company's communications and contacts with the Atomic Energy Organization are done directly through the office of AEOI chief, Gholamreza Aghazadeh.

Arak's Top Secret Nuclear Project:

1 - The Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) began the construction of this nuclear facility in Arak's Khondaub region in 1996. This is a heavy water project. It is considered a top-secret project within the AEOI and is supervised by Dr. Mohammad Qannadi, Deputy for Production of Nuclear Fuel.

2 - This under-construction project is located at:

Qatran Workshop (close to banks of Qara-Chai River)
3 miles in Arak-Khondaub Highway,

This project requires access to a lot of water and for this reason it is located on a river bank.

Senior authorities of Arak Province's Governor's Office have been instructed by the regime's security officials not to disclose the address and location of this site.

3 - Presently, 87% of Arak's nuclear project has been completed. It was scheduled to have all the work completed by April 2003. Then testing of each unit or facility, i.e. gas, steam, water coolants, would begin. The entire system would subsequently become operational once the testing of the units are completed.

4 - This heavy water facility, has several towers about 10 feet in diameter (3 meters) and 157 feet (48 meters) in height, each with 70 perforated trays.

5 - The production of the heavy water (D2O) is by the Hydrogen-sulphide (H2S) water (H2O) exchange process, known as the GS (Girdler-Sulphide) process, and is based on the Bi-thermal H2O - H2S exchange process.

6 - The water is enriched to 15% D2O by chemical exchange with H2S and later by simpler distillation to produce 99.8% D2O. The water is moved from hot to cold towers, and then to smaller towers until enriched. In a multistage process, the purified water enters the cold tower and migrates down while hydrogen sulphide gas entering the bottom of the tower meets the water on tower internals and the exchange of deuterium takes place.

7 - The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) is implementing the plan through a front company - the Mesbah Energy Company - affiliated with the AEOI, in order to prevent any leaks. The company's CEO and the man running this project in the AEOI is Daryoush Sheibani.

8 - The Mssbah Energy Company's headquarters is located at:

77 Armaghan Gharbi
Valiasr Ave., Across from Mellat Park

The operational manager for the project is Behnam Asgarpour who is based at the project's site in Khondaub.

9 - Given the clandestine nature of this project, its budget is not supervised by the regime's Organization for Budget and Planning.

10 - It is worth noting that since in the structure of AEOI the Arak's project is not officially included, in the Human resources office of AEOI such entity is not recognized. The reason for this is that some projects enjoy such an importance and sensitivity that are directly overseen by Gholamreza Aghazadeh, the AEOI's chief, and the Security and Intelligence office of the AEOI and the Central Office of Security supervise the bureaucratic operation of such projects. And to make these project untraceable, they are run as an outside company and this is why Arak project is run under the name of Mesbah Energy Company.

Active Atomic Projects:

Some of plans and active centers of regime's nuclear programs, which are currently run by AEOI, are:

1 - Busher's nuclear power plant in Busher Province

2 - Arak's secret project in Central Province

3 - Center for Atomic Fuel in Isfahan

4 - Center for Atomic Research in city of Karaj in Tehran Province. In February 9, 2001, the 5 ton steam container in Hall #3 of this center, which is located in Karaj's technology district in Mottahari Ave., exploded. The explosion was due to the fact that the fuel system of this device had recently been converted from diesel to natural gas without taking the required safety precautions.

5 - Research center in city of Bonab in East Azerbaijan Province

6 - Saghand research center in the city of Yazd in the Yazd Province

7 - Amirabad center for research and Reactor in the city of Tehran

Front Companies for AEOI's programs:

1 - Five years ago, the AEOI began establishing front companies in order to be able to advance its technological operation as well as easily dealing with the foreign parties without using the AEOI's name. A deputy office under the name of Supervision of Companies was established in AEOI in this regard. Some of these front companies are:

-- Kala Electric

--"Saukht Iran" company

-- Mesbah Energy Company

--"Haste Sarayand" Company

--"Kaavosh Yaar" Company

--"Kaan Iran" Company

-- Energy Novin

-- Novin Pooneh

-- ICS

Isfahan Atomic center and Busher's nuclear plant each use several companies.

2 - All of the domestic and foreign procurements of the Center for Atomic Research (CAR) of the AEOI are done by the Kaavosh Yaar Company.

3 - Revenue from the sale of liquid nitrogen - one of CAR's products - is deposited into the bank account of Saakht Iran Company. This company hires all contracted and non-official personnel of the AEOI and has them work there as its own employees.

4 - The budget for the Kaan Iran Company is deposited into CAR's account by the AEOI and, in turn, CAR deposits this fund into Kaan Iran's account. The salary for many of the AEOI's personnel who work for centers affiliated with the AEOI is paid by Kaan Iran.