The main Iranian opposition group held a press conference on April 21, releasing information that backed their claims that Iran was secretly conducting research into nuclear weapon components, such as bomb triggers and enriched uranium.
According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the regime is doing the engineering and weaponization testing at a walled military compound that has been declared off-limits to inspectors.
“This is the site that has been kept secret,” said Alireza Jafrazadeh, the NCRI’s Washington office deputy director. “There is secret research to manufacture the bomb and basically cover up the real activities of the Iranian regime.”
According to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) of 2015, Iran has to follow specific rules in order to keep the sanctions from being put back in place. This agreement is seen as a major thorn in the side of the Trump administration by various U.S. officials. However, the State Department reported this week that Iran was abiding by the agreement. Iran has benefited from the billions of dollars that have been freed up by the lifting of the secondary sanctions, but the economic benefits have not been felt by the Iranian people. Instead, the funds appear to be paying for Iran’s interventions in various countries throughout the Middle East, including Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has said that “inspection of our military sites is out of the question and is one of our red lines.” A number of Iranian leaders have repeated that warning in recent months.
“In order to understand the regime’s secret and illicit activities, it is critical that the IAEA inspect and monitor not only the Research Academy, but also all other sites related to SPND,” the NCRI-MEK said. “This will help shed light on the scope of the regime’s secret military and nuclear activities.”
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also called Iran out for its expansionist terrorist activities, acknowledging that they are meeting the letter of the JCPOA, but not the spirit of the agreement.
“They are carrying out their research in various fields related to the manufacturing of a nuclear weapon,” said the NCRI’s report. “In some of these fields, new initiatives have also been undertaken in order to keep the real objectives of the research a secret and to cover up the real activities.”
Jafrazadeh noted that this report was not based on the IAEA monitoring known sites and measuring technical metrics, such as the amounts of enriched uranium. “What the council is disclosing is secret weaponization work that now needs to be investigated,” said Jafrazadeh. “We’re talking about an extensive covert operation by the Iranian regime.”
He also noted that these sites need to be inspected right away, before they are cleaned up by Iran and the evidence essentially disappears.
According to a statement by Sona Samsami, NCRI-US Representative Office, there are critical steps that need to be taken to restrict Iran’s nuclear program, including the end of their uranium enrichment program. She also encouraged that the international community exert control to obtain access to all sites, including the military ones for IAEA inspectors. The MEK have a long history of exposing sites and other information about Iran’s nuclear program.