Iranian scientists are nearing completion of a nuclear warhead, having already successfully tested an implosion system and neutron detonator at a secret site while enriching uranium to weapons grade, according to a former Iranian intelligence officer.
The information comes from Hamidreza Zakeri, formerly with the Islamic regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and National Security, or MOIS.
Zakeri previously testified at the federal district court in Manhattan in the Havlish v. bin Laden civil lawsuit, where he provided proof that Iran had materially aided and supported al-Qaida before and after 9/11.
Zakeri, who has in the past provided credible information on another site to Western intelligence agencies, said that after the revelation of the existence of the Iranian atomic research facility in Lavizan-Shian, the team of scientists moved to a secret location in 2003.
The site was then demolished and the earth scraped clean by the Revolutionary Guards. Iranian authorities had denied an IAEA request to visit the site before the cleanup.
Lavizan-Shian was headed by the father of Iran’s nuclear bomb program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi.
A 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate concluded that Iran had halted work on its nuclear bomb project in 2003 around the same time that the Iranian atomic research facility in Lavizan-Shian became known. The information was based on intelligence that funding for Fakhrizadeh’s work on the project had been frozen.
WND reported last week that a source affiliated with high Iranian officials confirmed Iran could announce a halt to the nation’s nuclear enrichment before next month’s U.S. election in a move to save Barack Obama’s presidency.
The source, who remains anonymous for security reasons, said a three-person delegation of the Obama administration, led by a woman, engaged in secret negotiations with a representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The delegation urged the Iranian leader to announce a halt to enrichment, even if temporary, before the Nov. 6 election, promising removal of some sanctions.
The source said the delegation warned that a Mitt Romney presidency would change the U.S. relationship with Iran regarding its nuclear program.
The U.S. representatives reminded the Iranians that President Obama has stood in front of Israel, preventing the Jewish state from attacking Iran over its illicit nuclear arms policy.
The head of Iran’s Atomic Organization, Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani, admitted last month that misleading facts were used to deceive the West and protect the country’s nuclear advances.
The revelation of the secret Iranian nuclear site, if verified, will dramatically change the Western outlook on the timing of Iran’s nuclear capability and will prove that not only the 2007 NIE conclusion was based on disinformation, but that the Islamic regime has already crossed Israel’s “red line” and is closing in on nuclear capability.
Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, a Revolutionary Guards officer and father of three, is on the U.N. Security Council asset freeze and travel notification list and was the key figure in negotiations and exchange of information with Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb project, over Iran’s nuclear program. According to the source, he travels under the pseudonym of Hassan Mohseni.
He has been a mysterious figure as Iranian authorities have continuously denied the IAEA’s request to interview him. He and his team of scientists have continued their work out of the new secret site, the source said.
Construction of the new site, in the province of Isfahan on the outskirts of the small city of Najafabad, was begun in 1997 and completed in 2002 by Khatam al-Anbia, the engineering arm of the Revolutionary Guards.
To avoid suspicion, the site was built below the medicine factory, “Abu Reyhan.”
The facility beneath the factory has three levels, with two underground entrances away from the facility.
Sources in Iran have verified seeing transfer of equipment labeled with “radiation warning” that was then transferred to the underground facility. There is also a security post at the entrance to the road (“Medicine Road”) leading to the medicine factory.
Three very deep wells have been dug within the underground facility, although it is not clear why. But also a long underground passage leads to an emergency exit within the adjoining mountain.
Jafar Mohammadi, listed in an annex to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1737 of Dec. 23, 2006, as a person involved in Iran’s proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities, is in charge of managing and providing nuclear testing equipment and all technological elements for the facility.
The site – Velayat 1 – which was built with a capacity of 800 centrifuges for uranium enrichment, has been up and running for some time and currently is enriching uranium to weapons grade for the nuclear bomb project.
Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi is being assisted by 10 other scientists, including four of high rank: Akbar Motalbizadeh, Saeid Rashvand, Mohammad Hassan Zahmatkesh and Mansor Roknizadeh. The others are Hossein Rastgar, Seyed Amir Hossein Feghhi, Mohammad Mehdi Tehranchi, Mahmood Rahimzadeh, Abdulhamid Minochehreh and Jalal Shobairi.
They have been working at the site and on projects 2, 3, 4, 5, 110 (previously project 3) and 111, all within the SEPAND, known by the IAEA as SPND project and under the AMAD weapons program to build atomic warheads.
The site operates under the control of the Revolutionary Guards to expand research and development of nuclear, plutonium and atomic warheads.
Their activities include:
A: Enriching uranium to weapons grade.
B: Testing a neutron detonator and implosion system (chemical explosive lens). As a result of research at the facility, a test was done out of Iran’s Parchin military site several months ago. After the revelation of the high-explosives experiment activity, Iran started to clean up the site and continues to stonewall the IAEA’s request to inspect the Parchin site.
C: Designing and building a nuclear warhead to arm Iran’s Shahab 3 ballistic missile.
D: Separating plutonium for a plutonium implosion-type fission bomb. Iran’s heavy-water reactor near the city of Arak is nearing completion and is capable of providing spent fuel that, once processed, could produce plutonium for nuclear bombs. The separation of plutonium from fuel is an easy process requiring dual-use off-the-shelf equipment that Iran has already purchased.
The source indicated Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi’s atomic warhead project seeks to build three nuclear warheads in its initial phase. Tests of the implosion system and neutron generator have been successful, the source said, and the design of the nuclear warhead is nearly complete.
The Aug. 30 IAEA report stated that Iran has increased the number of centrifuges to over 2,000 at its previously secret site at Fordow, deep in a mountain near the city of Qom, and is enriching to the 20 percent level. More than10,000 centrifuges are enriching uranium to the 3.5 percent level at Natanz, which currently has enough low-enriched uranium for six nuclear bombs if further enriched.
Reza Kahlili translated this Iranian video about Islamic prophecies of a coming messiah and the destruction of Israel:
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).