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Iran-Nuclear: Smuggling of Beryllium to Iran

Experiments by the mullahs’ regime to make nuclear reflectors for use in nuclear bombs

September 1, 2005

According to reliable reports from ins ide Iran obtained by the Iranian resistance recently, the clerical regime is trying vigorously to obtain Beryllium metal to be used in its secret nuclear project, which is under the supervision of the Revolutionary Guards and the Ministry of Defense. It has smuggled sizeable amounts of Beryllium to Iran surreptitiously to be used for its secret nuclear project.

Usage of Beryllium in nuclear bomb

Beryllium is a neutron reflector and it is used in nuclear bomb or in nuclear fission (implosion type). Gun-type nuclear weapons generally require highly enriched uranium surrounded by neutron-reflecting material such as beryllium metal.

By using Beryllium or Beryllium Oxide in nuclear bombs, the amount of enriched Uranium or Plutonium needed is reduced to one third or one fourth. Thus, Beryllium is an important part of a nuclear bomb.

Beryllium has dual use and is among materials that its purchase or sale is under control. Smuggling such a material and testing on it are an important indication of bomb manufacturing.

Beryllium is a toxic material and working with it is hazardous for health.

Activities of Ministry of Defense Ministry to smuggle Beryllium

The Ministry of Defense is vigorously trying to obtain Beryllium. This includes smuggling 20kg of Beryllium from China in 2004 for use in the regime’s nuclear weapons project.

The order for this smuggle was given by Mahmoud Tourani, the head of Office of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Defense.

An individual by the name of Teymouri, who is a Chinese expert in the Office of Foreign Trade of the Ministry of Defense, placed the purchasing order.

Using cover companies to obtain Beryllium

A major portion of orders for purchase of Beryllium by the Ministry of Defense is done by Majd Gostar Company. This company has been functioning as the only copper-Beryllium alloy manufacturer in Iran in the past four years.

This company has its contacts and special channels for smuggling material into Iran. It brings this band material from Dubai to Iran. This company has also done some purchasing for Thamen-ol-Ameh project in Mashad regarding missile production as well.

In a private conversation a while ago, the Director of Majd Gostar said that the regime’s goal from setting up this company as a private company was that whenever the smuggling or manufacturing Beryllium in Iran would be divulged to the IAEA, this would provide deniability for the civilian use of the material.

Manufacturing Beryllium inside Iran

The clerical regime has produced Beryllium oxide at Malek-Ashtar Industrial University in Tehran that is run by the Islamic Republic Guards Corps (IRGC)

Dr. Nasser Ehsani, Malek-Ashtar, former head of the chemical group of Malek-Ashtar University, had conducted experiments on the production of Beryllium oxide  production in laboratory scale successfully. Engineer Abbas Soliemani worked with Dr. Ehsani in these researches.

Dr. Teimourian, the current head of the chemical group of Malek-Ashtar University (which has been renamed practical science group) has followed up on this research.

The goal of this research is obtaining the technology of manufacturing Beryllium oxide inside Iran to a point of self sufficiency.  

I would like to remind you that the research in Malek-Ashtar University, which is a major military nuclear research center of the clerical regime, is under the supervision of the Brig. Gen. Seyyed Ali Hosseini Tash. The General is the deputy Defense Minister and the official in charge producing weapons of mass destruction in the Ministry of Defense.

The address for Malek-Ashtar chemical lab is: Tehran, Babai Expressway, Lavizan, Malek-Ashtar University, Chemical Labs Science Complex.

In the Ministry of Industry (formerly known as the Ministry of Industry and Metals, (these two ministries were separated a while ago), since four years ago, a project named “TAVA” has been initiated to discover strategic metals mines, including Beryllium. Dr. Mohammad Ghanadi, Deputy Director of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency, told a private meeting with those engaged in manufacturing Beryllium in June 2004 that we have found Beryllium mines in Iran.

Conducting test on Beryllium as the reflector in the IRGC’s Imam Hossein University

Dr. Fereidoon Abbasi, who works at IRGC’s Imam Hussein University, has carried out tests on producing neutron initiator on Beryllium among other things. In this test by neutron generator, a very small amount of enriched uranium or plutonium surrounded by Beryllium is targeted and the results were examined in various stages. (Carrying out this test in higher stages, I mean in the super crisis stage requires a location to conceal it). This is one of the most sensitive tests toward making a nuclear bomb.

As a reminder, Dr. Freydoun Abbasi is the top expert for neutron generators. He is the deputy to IRGC Brig. Gen.l Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, one of the most important nuclear experts of the clerical regime.

Using of robot for tests on Beryllium by the Ministry of Defense

Since tests on Beryllium are very dangerous and hazardous, the Ministry of Defense has purchased a number of robots to be used in tests on Beryllium.  

Tests on Beryllium as the neutron initiator (nuclear bomb detonator)

The clerical regime has also conducted tests on manufacturing neutron initiator by mixing Beryllium with Polonium 210. Platinum 210 produces an alpha source that by mixing with Beryllium it manufactures a neutron initiator that acts as a detonator for nuclear bomb.

Obtaining nuclear weapons is an indispensable part of the Iranian regime’s survival strategy. To this end, it has employed all legal and illegal means to build the necessary chain to make the bomb

Meanwhile, in the past two years, the European Union has been engaged with negotiations with the clerical regime over their nuclear program. What have the results of these talks been?

Negotiations with Tehran have only helped it in making greater progress in its nuclear projects. The EU’s decision to suspend talks with Tehran is a positive but not sufficient.

I call upon the EU to adopt a firm policy vis-à-vis the clerical regime including abandoning these talks completely and referring the mullahs’ nuclear file to the UN Security Council.

I also ask the IAEA to:

    demand immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to all facilities, laboratories and research centers, military or otherwise.
    Carry out expeditious inspections from Lavizan II and Parchin sites that were exposed nearly a year ago by the Iranian Resistance.
    Inspect the facilities that are involved in the production of Maraging Steel used for the manufacture of centrifuges. These facilities were also exposed by the Iranian Resistance.
    Conduct interview with the IRGC’s nuclear expert whose names and facilities they work at have been revealed by the Resistance.
    Interview IRGC commanders who are aware of the regime’s clandestine programs, including Brig. Gen. Seyed Ali Hosseini-Tash, Mohammad Islami and others.
    Inspect the Parchin facility which is involved in the manufacture of Cruise missiles that have a range of 3,000 kms and are nuclear warhead capable.
    Present a precise report on the regime’s consistent violations and deceptions.

Otherwise, the upcoming IAEA report would offer little in the way of shedding light on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

In order to prevent the world’s only terror sponsoring regime from obtaining the world’s most dangerous weapons, its nuclear file has to be referred to the Security Council for the adoption of binding sanctions. By removing the terror label against the Mojahedin, we could refrain from participating in the crackdown on the Iranian people and set aside obstacles in the path of democratic change.