"The more we investigated, the more we realized that the weaponization program is fully operational."
By Jack Davis
Western Journalism, October 11, 2017 - As President Donald Trump prepares to announce a new overall strategy to contain Iran, a report from the opposition to the Iranian ruling party revealed that Iran’s nuclear weapons program remains operational, despite the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action designed to dismantle it.
The report by the National Council of Resistance of Iran was obtained by Fox News.
“It has been known for years that Iran has two nuclear programs — one is civilian and the other, the military, has the goal of giving Iran its first nuclear bomb,” said Alireza Jafarzadeh, deputy director of the Washington office of the NCRI. “The civilian sector of the nuclear program has systematically provided a plausible logistical cover for the military sector, and acts as a conduit for it. The military aspect of the program has been and remains at the heart of Iran’s nuclear activities.”
Iran claimed that it has stopped all nuclear weapons research as part of the deal it signed with the United States and partner nations in 2015. The White House has indicated Trump may “decertify” the deal, meaning he believes Iran is no longer in compliance.
The Iranian opposition report said its research “confirms that a significant portion of the various aspects of Iran’s nuclear project have been conceived and developed” even after the 2015 agreement was signed.
According to Telesur, the German Federal Intelligence Service claims that Iran has attempted to circumvent the agreement in an effort to acquire nuclear technology.
“What is even more troubling is that none of the key nuclear sites situated in military centers have been inspected,” Jafarzadeh said.
“Congress should step up pressure by introducing new sanctions to target the IRGC (Republican Guard), as well as the apparatus of domestic repression. Because Tehran is vulnerable domestically, such pressure would effectively empower the people of Iran and the organized opposition, who demand fundamental change and seek a secular, democratic, nonnuclear republic in Iran,” he added.
Jafarzadeh said that the opposition has discovered four sites where nuclear weapons research remains active.
“The more we investigated, the more we realized that the weaponization program is fully operational,” Jafarzadeh said. “The military sector has gone through changes in name, location and reorganizations over the years. However, it has never halted its work and key figures in the sector have remained unchanged.”
The big change, he explained, is the location. Iran took its program underground in vast complexes that are out of sight and allow the transfer of materials and equipment. The location also has the added benefit of allowing Iran to easily hide their operation if the site is inspected.
“This makes pinpointing the exact location of nuclear research and activities more challenging, and reduces the chance of exposure,” Jafarzadeh said.
“To conceal the true nature of its work, the Research Academy conducts its research and activities under the cover of conventional research. However, the Research Academy itself is completely independent and closed off,” the report said, adding that since the end of 2015 the international inspectors have had “very limited access with all sorts of restrictions” to an area at one site where nuclear weapons work is ongoing.
A separate location reportedly has “scores of large underground tunnels have been constructed in this military complex,” thus providing “the possibility and flexibility of covering up the activities of the warhead project, or transferring it to a different location in the complex.”
The report further noted North Korean experts have been collaborating with Iran.