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NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Iran secretly builds advanced nuclear centrifuges - exiles

Iran Focus Paris, Aug. 24 - Iran has secretly built more than a dozen advanced P2 nuclear centrifuges in breach of is commitments to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), an Iranian opposition leader announced on Thursday.

“According to the information obtained by the Iranian Resistance at least 15 P2 centrifuges have been assembled so far and are being tested”, Mohammad Mohaddessin, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, told a Paris press conference.

Mohaddessin said that around the time hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ascended to the Presidency, Tehran secretly set up a company called “Iran Centrifuge Technology Company”, also known as TSA, which began producing P1 and P2 centrifuges. “The company’s chair, Jafar Mohammadi, is a top expert in the manufacture of centrifuges. He was transferred to TSA from the Defence Ministry”, he said.

Mohaddessin gave the address of the company in Tehran as well as the location of what he said was another secret site where Iran was assembling P2 centrifuges.

He said that the second site, on the outskirts of Tehran, was operating as part of a project codenamed “Shams”.

“Some of the sensitive centrifuge parts such as magnets are being bought on the black-market”, he said.

The United Nations Security Council adopted a legally-binding resolution on July 31 ordering Iran to suspend all its uranium enrichment activities by August 31 or face the threat of sanctions. Tehran has repeatedly ruled out a halt to enrichment.

Mohaddessin also provided the names of 18 Iranian nuclear scientists and experts who he said were working on P1 and P2 centrifuges in Iran.

The opposition leader called on the UN to impose “immediate and comprehensive” sanctions against Tehran to “prevent the most dangerous regime in the world arming itself with the most dangerous weapon”.

The exile coalition NCRI was the first to blow the whistle on Iran’s clandestine nuclear program. In August 2002, it revealed two massive nuclear sites at Natanz and Arak, both in central Iran, and has since made a string of stunning revelations about Tehran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.
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