Reprinted from NewsMax.com
Iran Defiantly Continues Nuclear
Friday, Feb. 22, 2008 8:32 AM
By: Kenneth R. Timmerman
By: Kenneth R. Timmerman
Iran continues to do conduct secret work on nuclear weapons despite a
contrary finding by the U.S. intelligence community in December, an
Iranian opposition group revealed this week.
The report stated that Iran halted nuclear weapons work in 2003.
According to the opposition group, Iran is working jointly with North
Korean specialists at a military research compound near Khojir, to the
southeast of Tehran.
The group previously had identified the site as a missile development
plant, but said that a new wing of the plant had recently been built
for nuclear weapons work — and it is heavily guarded.
In presenting a commercial satellite photograph of the site to the
media in Brussels this week, Mohammad Mohaddessin and Alireza
Jafarzadeh said they had passed on their information to the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, which is
responsible for verifying that Iran is complying with its obligations
under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
Their organization, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), “has presented some
credible information to the IAEA in the past,” a Western diplomat at
the IAEA in Vienna told Newsmax.
“But some of their claims have not been able to be verified,” he added.
Jafarzadeh, who has been a Foxnews consultant, no longer identifies
himself as the MEK’s official representative in the United States,
since the group still appears on the State Department’s list of
international terrorist organizations.
One week before Jafarzadeh presented this latest information in
Brussels, he gave a press conference in Paris under the auspices of the
Iran Policy Council, which claims to be registered as a non-profit
educational organization in Washington, D.C.
While the veracity of the MEK’s latest claims remains unproven, senior
U.S. government officials have openly called into question the December
2007 National Intelligence Estimate that concluded that Iran had
stopped its nuclear weapons program.
In congressional testimony last week, Director of National Intelligence
Adm. Mike McConnell appeared to walk back that conclusion, stating that
he would have written the NIE differently if he had been given more
The IAEA secretary general, Mohamed ElBaradei, is expected to deliver
his quarterly report on Iran’s non-compliance with IAEA requirements
ElBaradei has frequently defended Iran and downplayed allegations that
they continue to conduct secret nuclear weapons work.
However, a senior Western diplomat told Newsmax that most insiders
believe that ElBaradei will grudgingly report that Iran continues to
conduct work on advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges instead of
disclosing its past weapons-related work, as required by the IAEA.
The United Nations Security Council has passed three consecutive
resolutions demanding that Iran disclose all nuclear weapons-related
work, without a shred of compliance by Iran.
In a recent speech to the Egyptian Council on Foreign Relations in
Cairo, the U.S. ambassador to the IAEA, Gregory L. Schulte, emphasized
that the United States has “new evidence and are more confident than
ever that Iran until 2003 had work underway on nuclear weapons design,
weaponization, and covert uranium conversion and enrichment.”
Iran’s nuclear programs were “no hobby or academic pursuit,” he said.
“This was a concerted, covert program, conducted by military entities,
under the direction of Iran’s senior leaders.”
Furthermore, Schulte said, “The U.S. Intelligence Community judges that
Iran is deliberately keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons
— and that its ongoing enrichment program, now in violation of Security
Council resolutions, is part of maintaining that option.”
Schulte accused Iran of “slippery deadlines” and warned that the IAEA
board of governors would careful judge Iran’s compliance with IAEA
requirements against “a simple litmus test: Have Iran’s leader’s fully
disclosed their past weapons activities, and are they allowing IAEA
inspectors to verify they are halted?”
The latest allegations by the MEK, if confirmed by the IAEA, would
demonstrate that Iran continues to cheat on its commitments and to
continue clandestine nuclear weapons work in violation of UN Security
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