Iran Expands Its Nuclear Weapons Program Underground and into Military Sites
Statement by Alireza Jafarzadeh
President, Strategic Policy Consulting
September 16, 2005
National Press Club
Presented at the Joint Press Conference of Nuclear Control Institute & Iran Policy Committee
To continue with nuclear weapons’ programs, the Iranian regime has started the construction of tunnels to avoid exposure
- Based on information received from inside the country, the Iranian regime has started an extensive strategic plan in order to build tunnels and secret centers across the country, in order to hide its nuclear and missiles projects. Based on the regime’s technical and expertise evaluation, given Iran’s mountainous geographical conditions, the country is suitable for building tunnels and housing inside them secret military centers.
- The revelations made by the National Council of Resistance of Iran about Natanz and Arak nuclear sites, delayed regime’s plan for access to nuclear weapons, but despite international pressure, and even the suspension of uranium enrichment activities, Iran has continued with its nuclear activities within military installations.
- The revelation of the Lavizan-Shian site in March 2003 by the NCRI was also a large blow to furthering the regime’s nuclear weapons program, because the Center for Readiness and New Defense Technology, previously located at Lavizan-Shian site, had the coordinating role to further the nuclear weapons’ program. As a result of the exposure of this site, the regime’s nuclear weapons’ program was delayed for at least one year. It should be reminded that due to the very sensitive situation of this site, the regime had completely razed it, and all the soil that were contaminated with nuclear radiation were taken out of the location. They even removed the surface soil as well. Nonetheless, on its visit in June 2004, the IAEA, detected traces of nuclear testing.
- Considering the above reasons, the Iranian regime has created, and expanded a large engineering management section within the Air and Space Organization of the Defense Ministry, tasked with building secret tunnels.
- This engineering center is called “Enforcement Management of Air & Space Organization Development Projects.”
- The manager of this center is engineer Yadegari. The names of some this center’s officials are; engineer Fariborz Khosh -Seresht, engineer Amiri and engineer Pejman-Sharifi.
- This management team uses the cover name of “Development Projects” instead of Engineering Management, to pursue the regime’s most secret plans. This center has strict security controls. It is completely prohibited to use the tunnels’ names and all centers as well as the tunnels have a code. This office has very strict and tight security and intelligence system. Access to all maps and documents in the center are only granted by an official permit from engineer Yadehari who is the head of this Managemnt or through his deputy, engineer Khosh-Seresht.
- This unit is tasked with creating large scale secret tunnels for weapons system. For example, within the last year, 14 large and several smaller projects were created around Tehran and throughout the country. Some of these tunnels are dedicated to secret military-nuclear factories, completely equipped with water, electricity and air conditioning. Other tunnels are dedicated to storage for weapons and missiles built to the required technical standards.
- The location of some of these tunnels is within military areas around Tehran including Parchin. The mountainous terrain in Parchin and military areas around Tehran has created good conditions for the construction of tunnels.
- The enforcement management of Air and Space Organization has taken measures to build several tunnels for nuclear projects under the direction of Revolutionary Guard Brigadier General Seyyed-Ali Hosseini-Tash and the Deputy to the Defense Minister is in charge of the weapons and biological program within the Ministry of Defense in Parchin.
- In Parchin site, for the purpose of laser enrichment, the regime has taken measures to create a secret tunnel. This site is under the cover of one of the chemical projects in Parchin, as I revealed it in March.
- Mohammad Amin Bassam, a laser expert from Defense Ministry’s laser enrichment, is in charge of this program.
- The new information I have received from my sources inside Iran who have proven accurate in the past, demonstrates that in addition to the site I revealed in March, the regime has built a number of tunnels and secretive places in Parchin to further its nuclear weapons program. One of these tunnels is located under Parchin’s stone hill.
- It is because of the existence of these underground tunnels that the Iranian regime has not provided the International Atomic Energy Agency with access to visit the sites in Parchin.
The complete secret documents that I am revealing to you today, is related to one of these tunnels which were created by the Air and Space Organization and the details which you can see on the map are as follows:
This center has a main tunnel which you can see at the center of the map. It is 300m long with 6m wide.
- This tunnel from a 170m distance from the entrance has 10 branches (meaning 5 branches each side). The length of each branch is 125m and their width is between 10m to 13m. Therefore, the extent of the installation built underground, is of 240m X133m which is an area of 33 thousand square meters.
- Two side tunnels are also connected to the branches and operate as extra entrances.
- In between the branches, there are concrete walls with 15 to 20 meters diameter.
- Within each branch, as can be seen in the picture, there are very large factories.
- The width of one of these factories in the map is 13 meters. The length of each factory can be expanded up to 120 meters. The height of the factories is about 9 meters and at 6 meters height it has a false roof.
- In this hall, there are a total of four large air filter equipments. They are to filtering the hall’s interior air, as well as take out the air polluted by the equipments inside.
- It becomes clear in the other map that this complex has a large mechanized installation for heating and cooling. Its capacity for fuel storage is more than 200 thousand liters of fuel.
- The visible seal on the map belongs to the Enforcement Management of Air & Space Organization’ classified documents center, which executes the tunnel building project and concrete structures for the regime’s military units.
- The map drawing location is Ali Akbar headquarters situated within the Air & Space Organization’s center in Khajir area. The name of this headquarters was later changed for security reasons.
- The picture you are looking at, is the opening entrance to this tunnel. The photo shows cutting the layers of the ground. The position of the lights demonstrates a tunnel with low slope going towards under the mountain. The relative width of the tunnel as well as it height can be seen in the tunnel. The width and the height of the tunnel allow cars and trucks to enter inside.
- The massive concrete walls between halls, demonstrate the potential explosive nature of the type of work that is being performed in these tunnels.