Iran: production of nuclear warheads
Israel expects another Iran whitewash job from UN nuclear watchdog
February 21, 2008, 12:03 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iranian opposition leader Mohammad Mohaddessin warns tomorrow will be too late for thwarting Iran's nuclear plans
Israel’s UN ambassador Danny Gillerman says Israel is losing patience with the wishy-washy reports delivered by Mohammed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, on Iran’s nuclear work.
Wednesday, Feb. 20, Mohammad Mohaddessin,of the exiled Iranian National Council of Resistance, warned that the Iranian regime had accelerated its nuclear weapons program, including the production of nuclear warheads. He told a news conference that Tehran had established its first command and control center to work on a nuclear bomb and was setting up a center to produce warheads southeast of the capital.
DEBKAfile: The council’s previous allegations of Iran’s covert nuclear activities, including the Natanz site, have been borne out. Mohaddessin said Iran cheated inspections by closing down one center only to open another later with the same purpose.
Addressing the watchdog agency, the exiled Iranian activist advised action against Iran now, for tomorrow would be too late.
Ahead of the ElBaradei report, whose release is expected Friday, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his government would ignore calls by major powers to halt the work which has led to two rounds of UN sanctions. The report’s findings will determine the Security Council powers’ decision on a third round.
Iran’s former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, who is running for parliament, said Wednesday, Feb. 20, he had quit the post over “differences on management mechanics” with Ahmadinejad. He is reported among the president’s critics, accusing him of pushing Iran into international isolation.
On Feb. 13, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow does not approve of Iran’s development of its rocket sector and continued uranium enrichment.
DEBKAfile's military sources report that the increasingly belligerent statements issuing from top Iranian leaders since the death of Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus earlier this month are seen as betokening serious intent. Israel's chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi told graduating officers Wednesday, Feb. 20, that he could not rule out a possible "tough ordeal" in the near future. Israel must aim for quick victory.
President Ahmadinejad said earlier: "World powers have created a black and dirty microbe named the Zionist regime and unleashed it like a savage animal on the nations of the region." He was addressing a rally in the southern city of Bandar Abbas, site of the Revolutionary Guards' command center and main bases. His speech was broadcast in full by state television.
Also Wednesday, an exiled Iranian opposition leader Mohammad Mohaddessin claimed Tehran had accelerated its nuclear weapons program, including the production of nuclear warheads.
DEBKAfile: Sunday, Gen. Hassan Firouz-Abadi, commander-in-chief of all Iran's armed forces, said at a ceremony in memory of Imad Mughniyeh: "Many millions across the world will soon receive the joyous news of the Zionist entity's destruction."' He did not explain how Iran intended to perform this objective, but alluded indirectly to nuclear or radioactive measures.
The next day, Revolutionary Guards chief Mohammad Ali Jaafari referred to Israel, which denied involvement in the murder, as a "cancerous microbe."
DEBKAfile's sources report that in Washington and Jerusalem, these unbridled speeches are taken as an orchestrated campaign to raise Middle East temperatures up to the climax of an Iranian attack on Israel.
It is noted that Ahmadinejad's speech was delivered on the last day of the Islamic month of Haram, during which Muslims are prohibited from embarking on attacks. The month of Safar when it is permitted to strike enemies of Islam begins Thursday, Feb. 21.