Iran is operating a worldwide recruitment network for nuclear scientists to lure them to the country to work on its nuclear weapons programme, officials have told the Daily Telegraph.
They claim that the country is particularly reliant on North Korean scientists but also recruits people with expertise from African countries to work on developing missiles and nuclear production activities.
North Korea relies on an lucrative financing agreement with Iran to fund its expanding nuclear activities. In return for Iranian money and testing facilities, North Korea sends technology and scientists.
Mohamed Reza Heydari, a former Iranian consul in Oslo, told The Daily Telegraph, that he had personally helped scores of North Koreans enter the country while working for the foreign ministry's office in Tehran's Imam Khomenei airport.
"Our mission was to coordinate with a team from the Ministry of Intelligence in checking the visas of the foreign diplomatic and trade delegates who visited Iran, with special attention to VIPs," he said.
"We had the instructions to forego any visa and passport inspections for Palestinians belonging to Hamas and North Korean military and engineering staff who visit Iran on regular basis.The sad part is that every thinking person has known this for years, and those who refuse to believe it won't believe it now either.
"The North Koreans were all technicians and military experts involved in two aspects of Iran's nuclear programme. One to enable Iran to achieve nuclear bomb capability, and the other to help increase the range of Iran's ballistic missiles."
He said: "In all our embassies abroad, especially in the African countries, the staff of foreign ministry were always looking for local scientists and technicians who were experts in nuclear technology and offered them lucrative contracts to lure them into Iran.
"The façade of the nuclear programme is that it is for peaceful purposes, but behind it they have a completely different agenda."
(h/t Challah Hu Akbar)