NCRI, VIENNA, November 24 – “An Iranian Resistance group Wednesday claimed that UN nuclear inspectors were taken for a ‘big ride’ during their inspection of the Parchin military site in Iran and missed seeing alleged uranium enrichment activity there,” AFP reporting from a press conference by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) here on Wednesday.
Inspectors from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) saw "buildings that are far removed from the location of nuclear testing and enrichment-related activities," Ali Safavi of the NCRI told reporters.
IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told AFP: "We know where we want to go."
Fleming said that whenever the NCRI "raises an issue, we read it and take it into consideration and do whatever is necessary."
The NCRI has made several claims about Iran’s nuclear program, including revealing in 2002 the presence of a secret centrifuge enrichment facility in Natanz that set off the current IAEA investigation, said AFP.
Washington, which charges that Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons, says the Iranians may be testing high-explosive charges at Parchin, 30 kilometres (20 miles) southeast of Tehran, as a dry test for how a bomb with fissile material would work.
There would be no nuclear material present if the Iranians did this with non-radioactive metals.
But AFP added that Safavi claimed there was nuclear activity at Parchin, only in an area some five kilometres (three miles) south of where the IAEA looked and isolated by hilly terrain. He said Parchin has "12 different sections" and "the section that was visited by the IAEA recently belongs to section 10 of Parchin and belongs to the air-defense systems of the Iranian military."
"But . . . nuclear and laser research is being carried in Parchin’s section one, inside a secret tunnel," Safavi was quoted as saying.
Enriched uranium, which can be fuel for nuclear reactors or material for atom bombs, can be made through laser or centrifuge distillation techniques, each of which Iran has researched.
Safavi said that laser enrichment was being done in the secret tunnel, which is "reinforced with a thick layer of lead" in order to hide radioactive traces.