BREAKING NEWS; Opposition Group Claims It Has Evidence Of A ‘New’ Clandestine, Undeclared/Underground Nuclear Weapons Facility Just Outside Of Tehran — That Has Been Operating For A Decade
The Iranian dissident group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), says it has new evidence that the Mullahs in Iran have a “Top Secret, Underground Nuclear Weapons Site, called Lavizan-3, right outside Tehran, and buried deep underground, in tunnels, and underground facilities. The complex is said to have “radiation proof doors,” to prevent any leaks that could be detected by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Inspectors — who would be charged with verifying Iranian compliance with any nuclear agreement that may be signed in the coming week/s.
These new details were unveiled today by the NCRI at a National Press Club briefing in Washington D.C. today (Feb. 24, 2015); and, Fox News’s Eric Shawn has a summary with the information below at the Fox News website. “The site must be inspected,,” declared Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director of the NCRI’s Washington D.C. office. “There is no way in the world you can assure Tehran is not developing nuclear weapons, if you can’t inspect those site, especially if you are talking about a regime that has over two decades of a track record of lying, and cheating, and deceiving the world,” he charged.
The NCRI describes the underground complex as having an elevator that ‘descends several stories, deep underground; and, opens into a 650ft. tunnel, which leads to four parallel halls. Because the ground is inclined, the halls are deeper underground, by as much as 164ft. below the surface.”
The NCRI also said it had smuggled out a photograph, showing a 1ft,-thick, lead-lined door that shields the complex from radiation; and, that the Secret rooms and hallways are insulated for sound, and radiation leaks — so, they would remain undetected.”
“If the United States is serious about preventing the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weapons, it must make the continuation of the talks conditional on the IAEA immediately inspecting Lavizan-3,” demanded Soona Samsami, the NCRI’s United States Representative. “Any delay in doing so will enable the Iranian regime to destroy the evidence….as it has done in the past.”
The NCRI added that the Iranian regime has secretly used the site to enrich uranium — with advanced centrifuges since 2008; and, is part of a long pattern of hiding its true nuclear activities — in order to deceive the world powers. “The notion that the Iranian regime will abandon their nuclear weapons program is misguided; and, a product of [the] mullahs’ duplicity; and, Western economic and political expediency,” added Mr. Samsami. While the regime deceived the world into believing it had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, it had been, in fact, heavily involved in excavating tunnels; and, preparing this nuclear site from 2004 to 2008. It has clearly lied.”
Before you dismiss these comments as coming from an opposition group that has an axe to grind; and, a self-interest in promoting anything that might undermine the Mullahs in Tehran and Qum, opposition groups nonetheless, are often the best source of critical intelligence that the Intelligence Community has almost no other way of acquiring. Yes, their allegations have to be taken with a huge grain of salt; but, the United States would be grossly negligent, if it did not follow up these allegations — and attempt to find out what ground truth really is. A failure to do so, would be grossly negligent; and, potentially fatal — if these allegations are in fact true. Time is of the essence; and,the group is right to urge that IAEA inspectors be allowed in this facility ASAP — because any delay would allow Tehran time to hide the evidence and undermine the chances of inspectors to find ground truth. Denial and deception has been in the kit-bag of Persian tricks since the time of Xerxes.
Denial And Deception — And, The Challenges Of Trust…..But, Verify
It was about this time one year ago (January 2014) , that the Secretary of Defense’s — Defense Science Board (DSB) issued sobering, and unsettling report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s, and nuclear weapons inspector’s ability to detect whether or not a nation is complying with a nuclear treaty/agreement; and, whether or not the U.S. would be able to ferret out and detect when a nation may be cheating. Their report: “Assessment of Nuclear Monitoring and Verification Technologies.” had three principal observations/conclusions: (1) First, we [the United States] are entering the Second Nuclear Age; (2) Second, the history of nuclear proliferation is no guide to the future; and, (3) Our ability to detect a nuclear breakout — the point at which a regime decides to go for a bomb — is not good.”
The DSB Report goes on to warn that “the actual or threatened acquisition of nuclear weapons by more actors, for a range of differing reasons, is emerging in numbers not seen since the first two decades of the Cold War. Many of these actors are hostile to the U.S. and its allies, and they do not appear bound by established norms, nor deterred by traditional means.”
The DSB also notes that a disturbing side-benefit of the worldwide web and the ability to close the technical knowledge gap quickly, “the pathways to proliferation are expanding. Networks of cooperation among countries that would otherwise have little reason to do so, such as the A.Q. Kahn network, or the Syria-North Korea and Iran-North Korea collaborations — cannot be considered isolated events.” “Moreover,” the report concludes, “the growth in nuclear power worldwide offers more opportunity for ‘leakage’ and/or hiding small programs.”
Finally, the DSB had a very sobering, and disturbing assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s ability to discover when a nation may be quickly moving to a nuclear weapons breakout capability. The report concluded that: “the observables are limited, typically ambiguous, and part of a high-caliber environment of unrelated activities. At low levels associated with small or nascent [nuclear] programs, key observables are easily masked.”
As Brett Stephens wrote at the time (Feb. 3, 2014) in the Wall Street Journal, “Dancing In The Nuclear Dark: How Will We Know When Iran Sprints To A Nuke,” “we are dancing in the nuclear dark.”
I would hope that the Intelligence Community and weapons inspectors have made some advances in verification; and, in particular, in the areas of penetrating the veil of denial and deception that will almost certainly be at play — should any final nuclear agreement with Iran be reached. But, i doubt that technology has advanced to the point we would feel comfortable — that we could ferret out, or discover when a clever adversary is hiding the real ‘goods.’ Moreover, the Islamic State, the draw-down of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Russia/Ukraine, China’s expansionist policies in the Pacific, North Korea’s unpredictability, and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has no doubt sucked all the oxygen out of the room — with respect to intelligence on nuclear verification, and the potential for cheating.
The Obama White House is hellbent on getting a nuclear agreement with Iran; and, there is genuine concern among many that the White House wants this agreement so badly — that, they may be too hasty in concluding an agreement and declaring victory. As Henry Sokolski, of the Washington-based Nonproliferation Policy Education Center has said: “You cannot correct for bad policy with excellent intelligence.” An inconvenient and worrisome truth indeed. V/R, RCP