In mid-2004, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Al Khamenei allocated $2.5 billion to obtain three nuclear warheads, the leader of an Iranian resistance group told reporters in Paris today – information that bolsters the claims of a new book about Tehran’s ambitions.

Mohammad Mohaddessin is chairman of the exile group National Council of Resistance of Iran, an organization with a proven track record of nuclear revelations about the regime in Tehran dating back to 2002.

“Khamenei has told Shamkhani, the Iranian regime’s defense minister, that obtaining a nuclear bomb would guarantee the survival of the Iranian regime forever,” Mohaddessin said.

Reuters reported the activist said he received the news about the warhead allocation this morning and had no further information on the project. He did not say whether or how the money had been spent.

Last year, the National Council of Resistance of Iran reported that Iran obtained a nuclear bomb design from a Pakistani scientist who has acknowledged selling nuclear secrets abroad.

The group also said today Iran was speeding up work on a heavy-water reactor 150 miles south of Tehran in Arak that could produce enough plutonium for an atomic bomb by 2007. Heavy water is used in nuclear power plants and can be used to produce plutonium for weapons.

“The regime told the International Atomic Energy Agency the reactor would be operational in 2014, but in reality, they want to start it in 2006 or 2007,” Mohaddessin told reporters.

Jerome Corsi, the author of the new book “Atomic Iran: How the Terrorist Regime Bought the Bomb and American Politicians,” supports the claim of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

According to the book, “since 1998 Iran has opened an estimated ten uranium mines. On Sept. 1, 2004, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the IAEA, reported to the organization’s board of governors that Iran planned to convert 27 tons of yellowcake uranium into uranium hexafluoride gas, the form in which uranium is fed into centrifuges for enrichment. This quantity would be small enough for a peaceful nuclear program, but it would also be sufficient to make about five crude nuclear weapons.”

Mohaddessin told reporters: “The Iranian regime is engaged in an all-out and expeditious effort to complete the Qatran Complex in Arak. The objective is to obtain plutonium to build a nuclear bomb.”

Writes Corsi: “Here Iran has built a heavy-water production plant and reactor. Heavy water is required to moderate the chain reaction needed to produce weapons-grade plutonium. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran is overseeing the construction of the heavy-water plant, operating through a fronting company, the Mesbah Energy Company. Fission bombs requiring plutonium are more sophisticated to design and detonate than bombs using uranium-235, but their explosive magnitude is many times greater.”

Corsi believes Iran’s nuclear threat is “imminent.” In a recent interview with Fox News, Corsi said he was “pushing the alarm button.”

“If the mad mullahs can pull it off, the sight of a nuclear cloud roiling over New York or Washington, D.C., would dwarf the glee they derived from our misery over the 9-11 attacks.”

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