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Monday, May 14, 2012

Evidence of Iran's nuclear weapons program mounting

From JPost:
Iran is accelerating its nuclear weapons program, according to a report Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) Iranian opposition group compiled and The Jerusalem Post obtained on Friday.

The report first appeared in the Die Welt German daily, and Brussels-based Iran expert Emanuele Ottolenghi, who provided it to the Post, was asked by the paper to verify its contents.

The report and various additional charts outline the different offices involved in Iran’s weapons program and identify some 60 directors and experts working in various parts of SPND and 11 additional institutions and companies affiliated with the program.

The SPND headquarters is based in Mojdeh, a military facility near Tehran. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, whom western intelligence agencies have identified as the man responsible for the nuclear weapons program, heads the facility. He is under United Nations sanctions.

MEK also identified a facility called the “Center for Explosives, Blast Research and Technologies” – known by its Persian acronym METFAZ – which is based in a five-story nondescript office building in Tehran’s Pars neighborhood.

Scientists there are responsible for building high-explosives for nuclear detonators and conducting tests at the Parchin site, a facility long suspected of being connected to nuclear activity which Iran has refused to open to UN inspectors.

SPND, according to the report, is comprised of seven sub-divisions: 1) a division that works on the main element for the bomb, including the enriched uranium; 2) a division that shapes and molds the material needed to build a warhead; 3) a division that produces metals required for a nuclear warhead; 4) a division that produces high-explosive material used to cause a nuclear detonation; 5) a division which conducts research on advanced chemical materials; 6) a division that conducts electronic calculations required for building a nuclear warhead; 7) and a division which is responsible for laser activities needed for a nuclear weapon.

“The information sharply contradicts the assessment by some that Iran has not yet made the decision to go forward with the weapons program, as well as the observation by others who suggest that the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has forbidden the development of a nuclear bomb, because it would be a ‘sin’ to do so,” the report said.

The report claims that the Fordow uranium enrichment facility built in a mountain near the city of Qom was built under the personal supervision of Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi. It said that experts who work at another facility involved in the weapons program are in direct contact with the Fordow site and supervise activities there.

“This makes increasingly clear the objectives with which the Fordow site was built,” the report said.

MEK, which is a member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has long been suspected of working closely with the Mossad and the CIA. In 2002, for example, the NCRI revealed the existence of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility which until then had not been known to the world.

Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the MEK report could be a “game changer” in Western perceptions of Iran’s nuclear program.

“Until now, intelligence agencies and policymakers surmised that Iran sought civil nuclear energy but kept the option open for nuclear weapons, while pending a decision from its religious leaders,” he explained.

“These documents support the opposite conclusions – namely that Iran’s program was always military and its civil nuclear component was just a façade. Iran decided long ago to make nuclear weapons – the only question is when.”

And from AP:
A drawing based on information from inside an Iranian military site shows an explosives containment chamber of the type needed for nuclear arms-related tests that U.N. inspectors suspect Tehran has conducted there. Iran denies such testing and has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of such a chamber.

The computer-generated drawing was provided to The Associated Press by an official of a country tracking Iran's nuclear program who said it proves the structure exists, despite Tehran's refusal to acknowledge it.

That official said the image is based on information from a person who had seen the chamber at the Parchin military site, adding that going into detail would endanger the life of that informant. The official comes from an IAEA member country that is severely critical of Iran's assertions that its nuclear activities are peaceful and asserts they are a springboard for making atomic arms.

A former senior IAEA official said he believes the drawing is accurate. Olli Heinonen, until last year the U.N. nuclear agency's deputy director general in charge of the Iran file, said it was "very similar" to a photo he recently saw that he believes to be the pressure chamber the IAEA suspects is at Parchin.

He said even the colors of the computer-generated drawing matched that of the photo he had but declined to go into the origins of the photo to protect his source.
And from ISIS:

ISIS has acquired commercial satellite imagery of the Parchin site in Iran showing new activity that substantiates the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) stated concern regarding recent “activity” at the site. The new activity seen in the satellite image occurred outside a building suspected to contain an explosive chamber used to carry out nuclear weapons related experiments (see figure 1). The April 9, 2012 satellite image shows items lined up outside the building. It is not clear what these items are. The image also shows what appears to be a stream of water that emanates from or near the building. Based on new information that the IAEA received, the Agency asked Iran to visit this building at the Parchin site, but Iran has not allowed a visit. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano noted recently that the IAEA has “information that some activity is ongoing” at the Parchin site 1. When asked if he was concerned that these activities could be associated with cleansing the site, Amano replied, “That possibility is not excluded…We cannot say for sure because we are not there.” The items visible outside the building could be associated with the removal of equipment from the building or with cleansing it. The stream of water that appears to emanate from the building raises concerns that Iran may have been washing inside the building, or perhaps washing the items outside the building. Satellite images of the building from recent months do not show any similar activity at the site—indicating that such activity is not a regular occurrence at this building (see figures 2 and 3).
Iran should immediately allow IAEA inspectors into the Parchin site and allow access to this specific building. It should also explain the purpose of the activities seen at the building in this recent satellite image.

But some anti-Israel idiots will keep claiming that Israel's concern over Iran is really to deflect world attention from Israel's primary purpose, which is of course to persecute poor Palestinian Arabs.

(h/t Yoel, Petra)