MEK Claims Iran Is Preparing Nuclear Weapons At New Site
Iran is currently building nuclear weapons east of Tehran, the exiled National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCR), which is linked to the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), claimed on Friday during an online press conference from its Washington office.
Alireza Jafarzadeh, an NCR representative, said that a body called the Organization for New Defense Research (SPND) had expanded its work since Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers (known as the JCPOA, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) limiting its atomic program.
Jafarzadeh said that the SPND, which he claimed oversees weaponization, was active at new site in Sorkheh Hessar, east of Tehran, under the supervision of a Revolutionary Guard commander he named as Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Jafarzadeh displayed aerial images of this alleged new site, and of a second site at Khojir, near Sorkheh Hessar, that he said was producing ballistic missiles.
The images of Sorkheh Hessar showed a compound that has expanded since 2012 and which, according to Jafarzadeh, now houses SPND-affiliated groups, which he alleged had conducted underground nuclear tests, registering the impact of explosions in the same way, he said, as tests conducted in Semnan in 2000. Jafarzadeh said the facility uses ground-penetrating radars and CG-5 gravity meters purchased under another country’s name and secretly transported to Iran.
Jafarzadeh spoke in detail about what he claimed were former nuclear sites, including one called Marivan in Abadeh, a town in Fars province. which he said was destroyed by the IRGC in July 2019 to hide evidence of nuclear weaponization tests. Jafarzadeh insisted that the two suspected sites near Tehran and Shahreza in Isfahan Province, which the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently visited, had also been cleared before IAEA inspections.
The NCR allegations coincide with the final weeks of the presidential election in the United States. President Donald Trump has argued the United Nations Security Council should reimpose UN sanctions on Iran for breaching the enrichment limits of the 2015 nuclear deal, and evidence of any secret activities might strengthen his case.
At the press conference, Sona Samsami, the NCR representative in the US, criticized the European signatories of the JCPOA, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. “After the revelation of major nuclear sites of Natanz and Arak by the exiled National Council of Resistance of Iran in August 2002 the appeasement policy of western countries allowed the regime to accelerate its drive to acquire nuclear weapons even while they were negotiating with Europe,” Samsami said.
“Our revelation today once again proves the fact the JCPOA did not stop the mullahs’ activities to acquire nuclear weapons,” she said. Samsami urged the international community to prevent Iran from acquiring atomic weapons and emphasized that its goal should be “regime change.”
The IAEA on September 30 said it had inspected the second of two suspected nuclear sites in Iran, as agreed with Tehran in August. The agency did not disclose the names of the sites, which Iran had not previously declared, where nuclear activities may have been conducted before 2003. IAEA laboratory tests on samples may take months.
On October 11 the IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi said Iran continued to enrich uranium to a higher degree than under JCPOA limits, but added that, despite a growing stockpile, Iran lacked the necessary uranium or plutonium to make an atomic bomb.