NewsSpecial WireIran secretly produced thousands of nuclear centrifuges - group

Iran secretly produced thousands of nuclear centrifuges – group

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Iran Focus: London, Aug. 18 – Iran is secretly producing thousands of centrifuges capable of enriching uranium for an atomic bomb in violation of an agreement it had signed with Europe’s Britain, France, and Germany last November which required it to freeze all activities of the nuclear fuel cycle, the main Iranian opposition coalition charged on Thursday. In a press conference in London, Hossein Abedini of the National Council of Resistance of Iran told reporters that Iran’s Ministry of Defence and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had secretly produced the centrifuges on the orders of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Iran Focus

London, Aug. 18 – Iran is secretly producing thousands of centrifuges capable of enriching uranium for an atomic bomb in violation of an agreement it had signed with Europe’s Britain, France, and Germany last November which required it to freeze all activities of the nuclear fuel cycle, the main Iranian opposition coalition charged on Thursday.

In a press conference in London, Hossein Abedini of the National Council of Resistance of Iran told reporters that Iran’s Ministry of Defence and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had secretly produced the centrifuges on the orders of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Tehran signed the Paris agreement with the EU-3 in November 2004 and said it would not carry out processes of the nuclear fuel cycle, but has since reneged on its commitment after it started its activities at the Uranium Conversion Facility in Isfahan. Uranium conversion is the process carried out prior to enrichment in centrifuges which are capable of producing highly enriched weapons grade uranium.

The manufacture of the centrifuges “has continued non-stop throughout the past few months, and thousands of centrifuges have been assembled in Tehran and Isfahan”, Abedini said.

He said the centrifuges are being stored in warehouses belonging to the Ministry of Defence and the Revolutionary Guards in Isfahan and in Lashkarak district in suburbs of Tehran.

Abedini named several top nuclear scientists involved in the project, but he said that the key figure in Tehran’s nuclear program was Revolutionary Guards’ Brigadier General Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

He added that to conceal its activities with respect to the fuel cycle, Iran had established a massive network of front companies. “The Defence industry has secret companies under similar names of Machine-Alat and Abzar Daghig [machinery and precise equipment”> that are involved in manufacturing parts and assembling centrifuges. Some of the companies affiliated with the Defence Ministry are located in Isfahan”.

He named Elka Felezkar Sanat Novin (Elka Metal-works New Industry) as a front company involved in preparing metal parts including those used in centrifuges. “Using advanced laser equipment, Elka Felezkar Sanat Novin cuts steel plates according to the specifications, and bends them accordingly”, he said.

He added, “The companies ‘Fara Felezkaran’ and ‘Electronic’, together with Elka Felezkar Sanat Novin are located in the suburbs of Tehran. The address is Abe-Ali Road, five kilometres past the highway patrol station of the Jajrood- after Kamrad petrol station, Sang Lashgari alley, next to Nasim Traghzieh Company”.

Abedini also pointed to the Malek Ashtar Industrial University as a major nuclear research centre. This university which is exclusively for Revolutionary Guards was established in 1986. The NCRI member said that one of the projects presently pursued by the university was the production of Maraging Steel for use as rotor blades in centrifuge machines. “The type of steel that is being produced in Malek Ashtar University contains cobalt and has grade of 300-350”.

In August 2002, the NCRI exposed two nuclear centres in Natanz and Arak which Iran had kept secret from the International Atomic Energy Agency. It has since made a string of revelations about Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.

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