HomeFeaturesDailyBriefingsRapidReconSpecial ReportsAbout Us

Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program Dispersed, Not Halted

Iranian dissident Alireza Jafarzadeh, the man who exposed the clandestine Iranian nuclear weapons program in late 2002 says that Iran's top commanders are nuclear weapons scientists and maintains that the Iranian nuclear weapons program has not been halted, but rather, dispersed.

Jafarzadeh said the 2003 decision to stop the weaponization program, which was operating in Lavizan-Shian, a posh northeast district of Tehran, was not Iran's own. The site had been exposed by the opposition, the National Council of Resistance on Iran, in April 2003 after revelations of several other nuclear sites that could be portrayed as dual purpose facilities. Lavizan-Shian could not, he said.

"The regime knew that this is not the site that they can invite the IAEA ... this site was heavily involved in militarization of the program," Jafarzadeh said. "They were doing all kinds of activities that were not justifiable. So they decided before the IAEA gets in — and it usually takes four to six months before they can go through the process and get in — use the time and try to basically destroy this whole facility, and that's what they did."

Jafarzadeh said the Iranians razed the buildings, removed the soil, cut down the trees and allowed the IAEA to inspect the Lavizan-Shian site, which had been turned into a park by June 2004. He noted that the regime acted as if it had succumbed to municipal pressure to open a park with basketball and tennis courts and that is why the area had been flattened.

Jafarzadeh said that "in a way it's correct for the NIE to say that in late 2003 the weaponization of the program was stopped, and they said it was due to international pressure. But they failed to say that it restarted in 2004" in a location called Lavizan 2, he said.

Lavizan 2 "has never been inspected by the IAEA," Jafarzadeh added.

Jafrazadeh's information has proven to be reliable. While the National Council of Resistance on Iran has its own (MEK) agenda, Jafrazadeh's information on the Iranian nuclear program has rarely - if ever - failed to stand the tests of time and scrutiny.

Note to Readers: Alireza Jafarzadeh spoke to ThreatsWatch in a conversation with Nick Grace and Sasha Eckstein on the issue on Global Crisis Watch: November 12, 2007, just before the latest NIE was released. (Fast forward to 3rd segment of 3, beginning at 23:50.)

Longtime ThreatsWatch readers will remember well the Lavizan facility razing (with side-by-side image comparison.) From our April 2006 glimpse, a brief summary of the sequence of events.

The IAEA learns of the site. Iran razes the site (including trees). ElBaredei questions the facility on paper. Iran explains on paper. ElBaredei accepts on paper. ElBaredei requests inspection on paper. Iran ignores altogether. The End.

We doubted ElBaradei's Tehran trip planned soon after the above observations.

Not sure, though, what the Vegas line is on ElBaredei actually satisfactorily resolving any of them with his reported trip to Tehran next week. The over-under should start at ‘Zero’.

But, to be rather direct, it does not take a rocket scientist to predict IAEA non-resolution of a critical issue nor to forecast non-discovery. Not then, and certainly not today.

While I am not a fan of the MEK (I fail to see the wisdom of supporting replacing a theocratic mullah regime with a Marxist one) I nonetheless give much credence to Alireza Jafarzadeh's information and analysis. So, too, does our professional intelligence community. So, too, should the American public.