EXCLUSIVE – President Donald Trump is expected this week to “decertify” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known simply as the Iran deal, declaring that the agreement reached in 2015 by the U.S. and five other international powers is not in America’s national interest. The matter will then be tossed back to Congress, which will have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose hefty pre-2015 sanctions.
While the President’s likely move has generated wide condemnation from foreign policy leaders — who reiterate that the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has maintained Iran is in compliance — a new 52-page investigative report by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), entitled: “Iran’s Nuclear Core: Uninspected Military Sites,” obtained exclusively by Fox News and slated for release Wednesday, asserts that the country’s nuclear weapons program has far from halted.
“It has been known for years that Iran has two nuclear programs — one is civilian and the other, the military, has the goal of giving Iran its first nuclear bomb,” Alireza Jafarzadeh, deputy director of the Washington office of the NCRI, also referred to as the Iranian Resistance, and considered the primary opposition coalition to the clerical administration of Iran, told Fox News. “The civilian sector of the nuclear program has systematically provided a plausible logistical cover for the military sector, and acts as a conduit for it. The military aspect of the program has been and remains at the heart of Iran’s nuclear activities.”
The Iranian Resistance has been monitoring the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-controlled entity tasked with building the nuclear bomb, the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (Sazman-e Pazhouheshhaye Novin-e Defa’i), known by its Persian acronym SPND, for nearly two decades. SPND is comprised of 7 subdivisions, each of which carries out a certain portion of nuclear weapons research.
The unit responsible for conducting research and building a trigger for a nuclear weapon is called the Center for Research and Expansion of Technologies for Explosion and Impact (Markaz-e Tahghighat va Tose’e Fanavari-e Enfejar va Zarbeh), known by its acronym METFAZ.
Since April 2017, when the NCRI found out about a new military location being used by SPND, the coalition has focused its attention on all the potential SPND sites that we suspected were tasked with building the bomb. The NCRI’s investigation inside Iran was conducted by the network associated with the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), which was responsible for blowing the cover off the program, particularly since 2002.
“The more we investigated, the more we realized that the weaponization program is fully operational,” Jafarzadeh said. “The military sector has gone through changes in name, location and reorganizations over the years. However, it has never halted its work and key figures in the sector have remained unchanged.”
The IAEA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report but has maintained that Iran remains in compliance with the terms of the agreement. The IAEA Director-General Yukia Amano stated in Vienna last month that they have all the access they require, and that the verification process is a “robust” one. He also said the agency does not differentiate between military and civilian sites.
Meanwhile, the U.S State Department did not immediately respond to a request for further comment on the matter.
One of the key issues of the verification process, the report states, has been access to Iran’s military sites. The regime’s highest officials — from Ali-Akbar Velayti, a foreign policy advisor to Ali Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader of Iran, to Gholam-Hossein Sa’edi, brigadier general of Iran’s elite IRGC, have stated publicly over the past month that they will continue to refuse to allow IAEA inspections of their military sites.