The Iranian Regime’s Nuclear Weapons Program

November 19, 2003

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear


National Council of Resistance of Iran

Ladies and gentlemen,

Tomorrow, the IAEA Board of Directors is scheduled to review the agencys report on the Iranian regimes nuclear program Iran.

The recent report by IAEA confirmed that the Iranian regime violated the NPT for18 years and continued its scheme of deception, concealment and denial.

It is a common knowledge that prior to revelation of two key, secret sites in Natanz and Arak on August 15, 2002 by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the clerical regime, through an expensive and elaborate deception scheme had portrayed these sites as desert eradication projects.

This was not limited to Natanz and Arak. In other cases as well, including the site in Abe-Ali, whose existence was also revealed by the NCRI, the clerical regime was forced to acknowledge their existence. The question, which Tehran is yet to answer, is what the reason for the deception and concealment was.

The clerical regime has so far spent $10 billion on its projects to produce nuclear weapons. It has set up an extensive network for mining, transformation and enrichment of uranium and plutonium by using heavy- water facilities.

It has tested techniques of enriching uranium by utilizing centrifuges and laser. Pursued for two decades, these programs have no objective other than producing the A-bomb. The mullahs' attempts to justify these activities under the guise producing electricity do not fool anyone.

According to an internal report of the clerical regime on August 20, 2003, some of the regime's military experts had assessed on July that in light of the progress made in the nuclear field, if the cooperation with IAEA continued for another year, they would be capable of producing the first bomb some where between a few months to a couple of years.

Despite the regime's commitment, due to intense international pressure, to sign the additional protocol, it is doing its utmost to continue the projects to acquire nuclear weapons. This regime, undoubtedly would not abandon a vast project, which has planned and pursued vigorously and planned for 18 years.

I would like to use the opportunity and point out a few of these violations of NPT and concealment tactics:

1. According to information obtained from within the clerical regime, some elements of the Revolutionary Guards (Pasdaran) have entered the regime's nuclear weapons program recently. They coordinate their activities with the regime's Atomic Energy Organization, the main organ involved in nuclear activates. On several occasions, the Revolutionary Guards have used the experts of Atomic Energy Organization. The staff of the Revolutionary Guards has been particularly involved in manufacturing and assembling of centrifuges. According to the same reports, in some occasions, the Guards' forces have provided significant help to Atomic Energy Organization.

While on paper, the Atomic Energy Organization is under the supervision of the regime's President and its Director is has a vicepresident portfolio, in reality this institution functions under the supervision of the Supreme National Security Council, which is the highest national-security related body of the clerical regime. The secret and classified budget of this organization is not included in the budget of the Organization of Planning and is not recorded by the Parliament. Its budget is approved and provided by Supreme National Security Council.

2. Budget of the mullahs' nuclear project, budget of Atomic Energy Organization

The annual budget allocated to the clerical regime's nuclear project, is in excess of several hundreds million dollars. The current annual budget of the Atomic Energy Organization is $255 million. (I do have the details of this budget available to me). But this is only a small portion of the real budget allocated to the nuclear projects. In order to minimize the scope of the project, the real budget is not revealed.

This budget is not reviewed like routine aspects of the country's budget in the Organization of Planning and Budget or in the Majlis. It is approved as special projects by the Supreme National Security Council. For example, the budget allocated to Natanz and Arak projects were not included in the public budget of the country.

3. The clerical regime has consistently been trying to conceal its secret nuclear weapons program from international scrutiny. According to reliable reports, in late May 2003, Morteza Ostad Ali Makhbal-Baf, the Director of Security of Intelligence of Defense Industries and the Guards' Brigadier General Mohammad Beyk Mohammad-lou, the head of Directorate of Coordination of (Defense Industries, which is engaged in nuclear enrichment) concealed several containers which had material belonging to an experimental site for uranium enrichment.

They were intent on preventing the uncovering of these materials in any possible visit and investigation. These containers were placed in 2000 sqr-meter warehouse (80 by 25 meter). The warehouse was located among several other warehouses filled with out-of-commissioned vehicles.

This warehouse was located in a complex called Shahid Kazemi, affiliated with Defense Industries, adjacent to Koolahdoz complex. The doors of these containers were sealed and it was said that these containers contain secret material and no one should know about there existence.

As a reminder, the Defense Industries has activated an experimental site for uranium enrichment in Kolahdooz complex since February 2003. The Defense Industries is one of the organizations of Defense Ministry and is in charge of manufacturing of ammunition and weaponry needed by the regime's armed forces. This complex has several workshops and the building and secret workshop for nuclear activities are located in one part of this complex. This nuclear facility is on the banks of a river and is camouflaged among other workshops.

4. The clerical regime has claimed that it has taken IAEA experts to a site in Hashtgerd, around Karaj and that there were no sites there. Information from within the clerical regime made it clear that they had been taken to a site, similar to the site in question and that they were not shown the actual site. This is one example of the regimes deceptive tactics.

Information indicate that senior government officials have been advised that the recent actions by the Iranian regime were temporary. The plan is to stop cooperation if and when inspections would result in the unveiling of the extent and dimension of the secret projects underway in different sites.

In their private remarks, senior regime officials have reiterated: "We have not provided all of our information to AIEA. We mostly gave them information that were traceable or could be obtained in further inspections or from our foreign partners in case they blew the whistle on us."

The clerical regime had stated that it would stop the gas production stage of the uranium enrichment process but would not stop uranium enrichment itself. Yet, under pressure from international community they have decided to stop it temporarily. But the regime's senior officials reiterate that this is only temporary.

Some of the regime's officials point out that "We do have access to enrichment techniques both by using lasers and by centrifuges. Thus, no one could stop us. We have the technology, we have the experts. Yet, the Ministry of Intelligence should figure out a plan to prevent the information from being leaked."

Based on private remarks by senior regime officials, prior to the meeting with the Foreign Ministers of France, United Kingdom and Germany, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei personally briefed senior regime leaders and told them that we would not abandon nuclear technology and not stop our projects. He said, in this way, We can ask the IAEA to provide us with more modern systems. If that did not happen, we would take up the task ourselves. There is no shortage of experts in Iran. Even if we stop now, it would be temporary and we would continue.

Based on private remarks by senior Revolutionary Guards Corps commanders, its commander-in-chief Maj. Gen. Rahim Safavi told the Guards Corps weekly briefing that the Islamic Republic would never forego its effort to acquire nuclear technology and that no power could deny the regime that capability.

This private remarks mirror what the Iranian regimes officials say publicly about continuing the clandestine nuclear weapons program.

After the visit by the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom to Tehran, Hassan Rohani, National Security Council secretary said: We have obtained enrichment technology and would never abandon it. But to give assurance to the international community, we are willing to halt it on short, temporary basis. We would reactivate it whenever we see it fit. This does not mean that we will halt all our activities in this regard. We have told the Europeans explicitly that we will not accept the resolution by the IAEA board of governors (Kayhan, October 25, 2003) He added: We believe that resolution was not legally, but politically motivated. As such, we do not fill obliged to implementing it. The postponement of the uranium enrichment could continue for 15 days, one month or any period we deem it appropriate.

On November 2, in a meeting of the regimes leaders, Khamenei underscored the regimes intention to continue uranium enrichment and the completion of the nuclear fuel cycle. He said the IAEAs opposition to uranium enrichment was tantamount to taking Iran and Iranians hostage. He added, accepting the additional protocol by the government is the first step. Based on the constitution, the final decision on the additional protocol rests with the Majlis. The Guardian Council would consider its compatibility with Islamic law.

Khamenei said decision on the additional protocol was a political and diplomatic move that was designed to keep nuclear technology and to confront international consensus against the Islamic Republic of Iran. He also threatened repeatedly that the regime may abandon its agreement with the IAEA anytime is so chooses. In that same meeting, Khatami attributed the ballyhoo over Irans nuclear technology to Irans enemies. He said, Government officials have not given any irrevocable commitments. It is the other side that must abide by its pledges. Despite European pressure for a complete shutdown of all activities relating to uranium enrichment, the Islamic Republic of Iran remained steadfast, forcing them to accept the voluntary halt of uranium enrichment.

Former Guard Corps commander in chief and the current secretary for the State Exigency Council Mohsen Rezai, who was involved in the nuclear program from day one, said recently, If Iran cannot have nuclear energy; it cannot defend its peace, freedom. (IRNA, October 30, 2003). These remarks shows nuclear energy has no meaning for the regimes leaders other than nuclear weapons.

These remarks show clearly that despite all its maneuvers to undercut international pressure, Tehran is involved in a full-fledged endeavor to acquire nuclear arms. It will not spare any deception, denial or for that matter, blackmail to continue along this path.

The Iranian Resistance considers nuclear weapons production as being contrary to the highest interests of the Iranian people. The mullahs are bent on acquiring that capability because they want to continue their repressive rule in Iran and export fundamentalism and terrorism to the rest of the world.

The overwhelming majority of the Iranian people oppose this unpatriotic endeavor as it has consumed vast amount of their wealth.

The Iranian Resistance again emphasizes that the clerical regime would consider any concession as green light to continue its nuclear program. It calls on the IAEA Governing Board to refer the file on Irans illegitimate nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council.