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Iran obtained weapons-grade uranium and the specific design for a nuclear bomb from an exiled Pakistani nuclear scientist, an Iranian opposition group said today.
The National Council for Resistance, a grass-roots Iranian organization that yesterday disclosed what they said was the secret location of an illegal uranium-enriching facility in Iran, revealed today that Abdul Qadeer Khan, who ran a nuclear black market that supplied Libya with nuclear technology, provided Iran weapons-grade material.
“Khan gave Iran a quantity of HEU [highly enriched uranium] in 2001, so they already have some,” Farid Soleiman, a senior spokesman for the National Council told reporters.
Soleiman said Khan also gave Iran a Chinese-developed warhead design sometime between 1994 and 1996.
The National Council, based in Paris, is the political arm of the People’s Mujahedeen, which is listed by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terrorist organization because of its involvement in attacks on Americans in the 1970s.
The group has in the past accurately revealed the location of several secret nuclear sites in Iran and is taken very seriously by U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies.
If the disclosure proves accurate, it may increase pressure on America and Israel to take decisive action against Iran.
Since Bush’s re-election, the U.S. has increased exponentially their rhetoric against Iran.
Secretary of State Colin Powell said today the U.S. has intelligence indicating Iran is trying to fit missiles to carry nuclear weapons.
”I have seen intelligence which would corroborate what this dissident group is saying,” Powell told reporters today on a trip to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Santiago. ”And it should be of concern to all parties.”