By The Free Iranian Staff
On Wednesday, the Islamic regime authorities admitted that they had prevented an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspector from gaining access to its main uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz. They claimed that the woman triggered an alarm at the gate to the Natanz uranium enrichment plant, raising fears that she was carrying “suspicious material”.
Iran has now cancelled the accreditation of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspector who was prevented from entering a nuclear facility last week.
Tehran also sent out a memo to all members claiming that the the inspection commenced at approximately 11 a.m. on Oct. 28, and that when the inspector “sneaked out to go to the WC alarming signals” were found on a toilet bowl and parts of exit piping, which were dismantled for checks. According to Khomeinist agents the inspector was then denied entry to the facility because she tested positive for suspected traces of explosive nitrates.
The inspector was then detained but left Iran on October 30th.
The IAEA dismissed the Iranian claim.
“Based on the information available to us, the agency does not agree with Iran’s characterization of the situation involving the inspector, who was carrying out official safeguard duties in Iran. The agency will continue to consult with Iran with a view to clarifying the situation,” the spokesperson added.
Jackie Wolcott, The U.S. envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency said detaining the inspector was an “outrageous provocation” by Iran and the agency itself said it was unacceptable.
Also this week – the announcement that the regime was increasing its uranium enrichment up to levels above what it had agreed to limit itself to in the 2015 JCPOA.
The two incidents have resulted in a situation in which Tehran is close to a nuclear breakout, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said. The world may thus soon be paying the price for having so foolishly allowed the regime to “freeze” its nuclear capabilities at a point from which it would only require one year to assemble an operational nuclear weapon, in that 2015 deal, despite the regime’s long history of secreting its activities from the IAEA, and harassing the agency’s personnel.
Just a few examples from the recent past of the regime’s mistreatment of IAEA inspectors include:
▶︎ In October 2008, the IAEA investigated whether a Russian scientist helped Iran conduct nuclear weapons related experiments, after the agency obtained a document detailing precision detonator experiments allegedly conducted with the Russian scientist’s help. IAEA Chief Weapons Inspector Olli Heinonen stated the experiments were “not consistent with any application other than the development of a nuclear weapon.”
▶︎ In July 2009, the regime built a covering over the entire Arak nuclear facility, preventing satellite observations of it.
▶︎ In June 2010, Tehran banned two IAEA inspectors from entering the country, accusing them of wrongly reporting that some nuclear equipment was missing from the Jabr Ibn Hayan Multipurpose Research Laboratory during a past inspection.
▶︎ In February 2012, an IAEA team was banned from visiting the Parchin military nuclear research installation.
▶︎ The mysterious death of a South Korean IAEA inspector in a car accident near the nuclear facility of Arak, in May 2012.
▶︎ In August 2017, Tehran declared all military sites off limits to the IAEA.
When one considers this persistent sort of behavior, one realizes that there are still so many unanswered questions concerning Tehran’s nuclear activities. As the regime increases its aggressiveness day by day, and in light of its recent military setbacks throughout the Middle East region, observers are now asking whether Tehran has a “trump card” with which it feels it fight Trump with.
Does Tehran already have the bomb?
With all the uncertainty regarding Tehran’s nuclear program, the most frightening fact of all is that one cannot discount that the regime might already possess nuclear armaments. According to reports published in the Jerusalem Post in April 1998, Iran purchased 2-4 tactical nuclear weapons in Kazakhstan in late 1991, as the Soviet Union was collapsing. The reports were based on documents, delivered by an exiled Iranian scientist, claiming to summarize discussions between regime officials and members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps about the weapons and their maintenance. In one of the documents, the deputy head of the IRGC told the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency, Reza Amrolahi, that the Guards obtained ‘two war materiel [sic] of nuclear nature’ from Russia. In another document from January 1992, a senior Revolutionary Guard official said that nuclear warheads were being stored in the Lavizan military camp, near Teheran. According to the documents, Tehran paid $25 million for these nuclear weapons.
An Iraqi intelligence report from 1992 stated that “Iran agreed to pay an amount of 130-150 million dollars for the purchase of the three nuclear weapons. Three million [dollars] was paid as a down payment to one of the banks in Manteaux, Switzerland, and other letters of credit opened with banks in Germany. […] The main decisions [for developing nuclear weapons] were reached in one week in mid-November 1991. […] At the end of the meeting, President Rafsanjani announced the meeting’s decision, saying ‘Iran must have nuclear weapons for the benefit of the region, only because the Arabs proved that they are incapable of doing so. Such weapons will be necessary for [Islamic] solidarity and to refresh Islamic unity.’ […] The Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Akbar Velayati completed a tour of the Soviet Republics of Central Asia [in late November 1991]…A high-ranking employee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kyrgyzstan said, ‘Iran used Velayati and the accompanying delegation to send a number of intelligence officers to be sure of the smuggling routes and the movement of parts of nuclear weapons and other relevant equipment.’ The parts and the equipment were transferred by vehicles and trains through the Turkmenistan Republic, as there are no checkpoints on the border with Iran. All available evidence strongly indicates that Iran had obtained all of what it needs to assemble three tactical nuclear weapons by the end of 1991. At the beginning of January 1992, there was an indication that an assembly process started for three nuclear weapons in Iran, from parts that were obtained from Kazakhstan. A highly reliable Iranian official source confirmed in late January 1992 that Iran had obtained three nuclear bombs and a number of Soviet specialists and experts who are in Iran, in the al-Kubra area. […] Because the parts of the [nuclear] weapons arrived from different sources, Iran could have obtained the two types [air-dropped gravity bomb and missile warhead] of nuclear weapons.”
In January 1993, Mohsen Rezai, an IRGC general, was said to have told the then-North Korean leader, Kim Il Sung, that “The stories about Iran’s attempt to purchase nuclear warheads from Kazakhstan and other Central Asian Republics were true, he said. But there had been problems. To avoid detection, the weapons had been disassembled and transported piece by piece in separate trucks. They had put a non-professional in charge of the operation, and the results were predictable. When the bombs arrived in Tehran in late 1991 and early 1992, key parts were missing. Iran needed Kim’s help to get those weapons operational. The ageing North Korean leader agreed immediately…
More recent reports have indicated that “Western intelligence agencies detected two nuclear weapons tests in North Korea in 2010, and that one or both of them might have been conducted for Iran.” Another report, a couple of years later, said “Iran began moving its bomb manufacturing operations… to North Korea in December 2012…the Iranian-North Korean collaboration has already produced the first batch of fourteen nuclear warheads. A dedicated fleet of Iranian cargo aircraft…, is in place to bring the assembled warheads back to Iran.”
The world may perhaps learn soon whether these reports are accurate or not.