by Hollie McKay
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.
The Iranian Resistance has identified four major sites that “with high degrees of certainty” have been involved in various aspects of the allegedly ongoing nuclear weapons project.
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.
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.”
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.
“An important feature of the Iranian regime’s nuclear program is that several sites and centers where nuclear-related activities are conducted are situated in sprawling military complexes that also house scores of tunnels and silos. This not only makes IAEA access to these locations more difficult, but also makes it possible to relocate these centers and projects to other locations within the complex,” Jafarzadeh explained. “As such, if it becomes necessary to relocate a project or center, it can easily be moved to a different silo or tunnel within the parameters of the military site. This makes pinpointing the exact location of nuclear research and activities more challenging, and reduces the chance of exposure.”
As detailed in the report, the Iranian Resistance has identified four major sites that “with high degrees of certainty” have been involved in various aspects of the allegedly ongoing nuclear weapons project.
Third, the report claims that the Hafte Tir site — which belongs to the Defense Ministry and is positioned in the military zone near the city of Isfahan, in a mountainous region adjacent to the Isfahan-Shiraz highway six miles from the town of Mobarakeh — is constructed with underground tunnels under the supervision of SPND under the supervision of IRGC Brigadier General Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi.
“In addition to all its security advantages and its location far removed from public sight, it is part of a sprawling military complex which provides the possibility of relocating within the complex and covering up the transfer,” the report states. “The research site related to nuclear activities is located inside of a tunnel, which is about 0.4 miles and contains four galleries. Since Hafte Tir military industries in Isfahan constitutes a major part of the regime’s ammunition production, the cover of a conventional military site protects the work and keeps it secret.”
Workshops at the Hafte Tir reportedly were used in the past to produce centrifuge components, such as rotor cylinders, and it is believed that in addition to activities in the tunnels, the site “still has a capability to produce those components clandestinely.”
Nonetheless, the Iranian regime has threatened ”crushing” retaliation if Trump does indeed decertify its compliance, a move likely to come before the October 15 deadline.
Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay
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