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Iran-Nuclear: Tehran attempting to obtain Plutonium

Press conference by Mr. Mohammad Mohaddessin
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of  National Council of Resistance of Iran
Paris
March 31, 2005

Exposing the clerical regime’s nuclear projects

Today, I would like to share with you two issues relating to Tehran’s nuclear weapons program. The first is a confidential document about nuclear activities and the second deals with the project to acquire plutonium.

The report you see here is a confidential report by the Iranian parliament, entitled, “An appraisal of the conduct of the Atomic Energy Organization,” prepared in February 2004. It was filed with the Parliament’s office of infrastructural research.

I refer to three parts of this report.

In the appraisal section, the repot notes:

“Taking into account the abundance of gas in the country and a 200-year life span for our gas reserves and the low cost of generating electricity from gas, 1.5 cents for each kilowatt of electricity, it is not clear on what economic and technical justification as well as what human resource and practical potential and most importantly, what uranium reserves, are officials of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) talk about generating electricity from nuclear power. Investment in nuclear power in 2.5 times the investment in steam fissile power plants. It must be mentioned that Iran has little uranium reserves. The known uranium mines can only provide 20 percent of the fuel for Bushehr 1200-megawatt nuclear power plant. We can therefore expect that the entire appropriation for this project would be wasted similar to the funds allocated to this program before the revolution in 1979.

In the part dealing with the conduct of the AEOI, not covered by general budgetary allocations. It notes: “Simultaneous with the publication of reports by news agencies regarding uranium enrichment in Iran and pressures by Western government to sign the addition protocol of the NPT, the AEOI and officials in charged said in a series of interviews that Iran has acquired the technology and the know-how to enrich uranium domestically. They also added that they were not prepared to sign the additional protocol. It became clear at the time that in two sites, some activity had been undertaken in Natanz, through a system of centrifuges, and in Arak, through the installment of the 40-megawatt reactor.

“Unfortunately, the parliament was unaware of these two major projects and affiliated programs. It is not clear to the legislative branch from where the budget for these projects were provided. Nor was it aware of how this project began and implemented. In the government’s three-year activity report no mention was made of these projects.”

In the conclusion section of the report it is noted, “That the parliament was unaware of the building of Natanz and Arak sites, the decision making in building them and source of budgeting for this project are among matters that are ambiguous and must be investigated by the AEOI directors. The country will ultimately pay the price for such operations, which will eventually force us to sign the additional protocol.”

This report clearly reveals Tehran’s intentions about its nuclear programs, so much so that the even the parliament is unaware of them and the budget is allocated outside the normal budgetary process overseen by the Parliament.

Tehran attempting to obtain Plutonium

The Iranian regime is engaged in an all-out and expeditious effort to complete the Qatran Complex in Arak (central Iran). The objective is to obtain plutonium to build a nuclear bomb. The project consists of two parts: A heavy water facility and a 40-megawatt reactor.

The site is also used to generate small-scale electricity and major scientific laboratory tasks that are carried out for plutonium production.

Based on our information, in the first phase, this reactor will produce about 8 to 10 tons of plutonium that could be used for a nuclear bomb.

A. The Heavy Water Facility

The Iranian regime’s experts believe that this facility will begin full operation in September 2005. Because of technical problems and gas leak in the facility’s main section, the operation was delayed. Previous assessments envisioned a November 2004 start-up.

Arak’s heavy water facility is composed of three main parts and nine subsidiary units. The latter have begun their work since a year ago. At present, two main units of the facility are at production stage and produce eight tons of 15% water. With the completion of the third unit, the complex will increase heavy water production from eight to 16 tons. Heavy water will increase from 15 percent to 99.8 percent.

Currently, the work on installing the equipment for new parts of the heavy water facility is near end. Except for the trial run, the rest of the work is finished. In order to increase the heavy water to 99 percent, all equipment must work in coordination.

Mesbah Energy Company, affiliated with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, is responsible for operating this facility.

Engineer Manouchehr Madadi, is supervising the research and development of Arak’s heavy water facility. He reports to Engineer Dariush Sheibani who works in Mesbah Energy Company.

B. The state of IRS40 reactor:

The work to install the initial parts of this reactor has been going on for several months.

Officials have ordered those in charge of the reactor work to expedite their work. For this reason, those involved work in two shifts. Expert personnel travel to the factory from Tehran every time.

The Rahkar Sanay’e (Industry) factory is responsible for installing the heavy water IRS40 reactor. It is also affiliated with the AEOI. The regime has told the IAEA that it will start up the reactor in 2014, whereas in reality, it is planning to start it up in 2007.

The Novin (new) Energy Company pursues parts of this projects and the start-up of the reactors.

After the Iranian Resistance revealed the details of this factory in August 2004, the company moved its headquarters from Kalaye Electric site. The new address is:

Tehran, Argentine Square, northwest side, Zagros Street, number 23.

A confidential parliamentary document about Tehran’s nuclear efforts:

Background:

The Atomic Energy Organization began building a nuclear site in Khondab in Arak in 1994 as a top-secret project. The actual building began in 1999 and the installation of the equipment began in 2000.

The project is an American model. The regime began the planning and the design in consultation and supervision of Russian scientists.

To prevent any leaks about the project, the AEOI began this project under the cover of Mesbah Energy Company. The address for the company is: Tehran, Vali-Asr Street, across from Mellat Park, Western Armaghan, number 77.

Dr. Jamshid Kamali pursued the heavy water project in Mesbah Energy Company until 2001. He retired in that year and is now a consulting engineer. He had attempted to buy equipment for the facility and smuggle information from European countries. He was arrested in 2000 along with his colleagues in Italy and expelled to Iran.

The person in charge of the Arak project is Engineer Behnam Asgar-pour. He is based in Khondab.

The address for the project is: Khondab, Five kilometers into Khondab road toward Arak, Qatran facility. This site is situated next to Gareh Cheiy River.

As you can see, the clerical regime is not only continuing its nuclear projects, but is also pursuing alternative projects. The arming of the fundamentalist mullahs with nuclear weapons runs contrary to democracy and peace around the world, including Europe. Tehran’s nuclear file must be referred to the UN Security Council as soon as possible.

Regrettably, France’s all-out support for the clerical regime has acted as the most important element of support that has prompted the regime to defy its international obligations. Khatami is scheduled to come to Paris next week. The reception is a strong message to the mullahs that they should continue their nuclear program.

On the eve of Khatami’s visit, French officials facilitated the gathering of a dozen Intelligence Ministry officials to come to Paris from other countries in Europe and Iran to embark on a misinformation campaign against the Iranian Resistance and in support of the clerical regime.

The message of this act to Tehran is that they should continue the clampdown on the opposition and that the French are on their side.

When the French banned the peaceful rally by 40,000 Iranians on February 10, they sent a message to Tehran that it France was not concerned with the violation of human rights in Iran and that the regime’s leader could do whatever they wish.

The cry by millions of Iranians on March 15 and 25 across Iran bespeaks of the end of the Tehran regime. If the West refrains from helping this regime, the Iranian people will, as Mrs. Rajavi said, change the regime and bring democracy to Iran.