A secret nuclear site in Iran has been identified by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a Paris-based dissident group that has previously exposed hidden sites. The opposition group did not specify the relevance of the site to Iran’s nuclear program, but said its data has been confirmed through the use of 50 sources connected with the regime.
The site is located 44 miles northeast of Tehran, six miles east of Damavand and is hidden in tunnels underneath a mountain. It began being built in 2006 and includes two tunnels about 200 yards long and a total of 6 giant halls.
It is overseen by a Revolutionary Guards front company led by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. The International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly requested to interview him with no luck. Western intelligence believes he is in charge of the development of a nuclear warhead and a neutron initiator that can trigger a nuclear explosion.
The first phase of the site’s construction is finished and the regime now hopes to add 30 tunnels and 30 depots.
In December, the Clarion Project held a webinar with “Reza Kahlili,” a former member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards that spied for the CIA. He used his sources inside Iran to expose secret nuclear and biological weapons sites and activities in this presentation. Iran is reportedly secretly working with North Korea and China to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The NCRI says that the new Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, who the media falsely presents as a moderate, played a “key role” in the site’s development when he served as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator.
The French ambassador to Iran from 2001 to 2005 says that Rouhani was the “main” mover behind Iran’s decision to suspend its work on nuclear warheads in 2003. The overt uranium enrichment program remained in progress.
The French diplomat’s claim will raise hopes that the new “moderate” President of Iran will strike a deal to stop its nuclear weapons program, but a closer reading of the statement and background research on Rouhani should cause skepticism.
The diplomat said that the suspended program included work on a warhead and “how to deliver it to ‘friends’ in the region.”
That quote is extremely important. The French diplomat who is assuring the world of Rouhani’s reasonability is also saying that Iran worked on nuclear warheads with the intention of exporting them to its allies.
As for the question of what we can do now that they [the international community] all disagree with our having the fuel cycle, I submit to you that we require an opportunity, time to be able to act on our capability in this area. That is, if one day we are able to complete the fuel cycle and the world sees that it has no choice, that we do possess the [nuclear] technology, then the situation will be different.
The world did not want Pakistan to have an atomic bomb or Brazil to have the fuel cycle, but Pakistan built its bomb and Brazil has its fuel cycle, and the world started to work with them. Our problem is that we have not achieved either one, but we are standing at the threshold.
As for building the atomic bomb, we never wanted to move in that direction and we have not yet completely developed our fuel cycle capability. This also happens to be our main problem.
Rouhani also admitted to being deceitful in his capacity as nuclear negotiator:
“No, we have not lied. In all cases, we have told them the truth. But in some cases, we may not have disclosed information in a timely manner.”
He defended this by saying that Iran might as well as hide its nuclear activity because honesty would cause it to be sanctioned anyway:
“Would presenting a complete picture of our past nuclear activities solve the problem? If we presented a complete picture, that picture itself could take us to the U.N. Security Council. If we did not present a complete picture, this would have been considered a violation of the resolution…Therefore, no matter which option we chose, it was argued, our case would end up at the U.N. Security Council.”
Note the timing of these statements. These were made after the suspension of nuclear warhead-related activity at his urging.
You can’t build a nuclear warhead arsenal without first having a nuclear fuel cycle, a system that can be built ostensibly for civilian purposes. There’s no reason for Iran to invite the repercussions that come with warhead development. Most of the necessary infrastructure can be finished under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
By suspending on the final stage, the preceding stages can be completed. Rouhani didn’t abandon Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons capability, he advanced it. The objective is to get so far along that the world just accepts it as a reality, lifts sanctions and moves on.
Former U.S. Central Command commander James Mattis also warned recently that Iran’s cyber warfare capabilities aren’t being taken seriously enough, and that the lack of a U.S. response to an Iranian terror plot in Washington D.C. in 2011 could lead to disaster. He said:
“We’ve got to be very careful of avoiding confrontation with Iran because right now, with their cyber effort, they’re like children balancing light bulbs full of nitroglycerin. You get the picture? One of these days they’re going to drop one, and it’s going to knock out the London stock exchange or Wall Street because we never drew a line and said, ‘You won’t do it…’”
The West cannot afford to assume that Rouhani has decided to suddenly become honest and transparent.
Ryan Mauro is the ClarionProject.org’s National Security Analyst, a fellow with the Clarion Project and is frequently interviewed on Fox News.