Resistance exposes Iran’s secret nuclear weapons site

Resistance exposes Iran’s secret nuclear weapons site
Leaders of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) have unveiled details of a previously unknown Iranian nuclear site just east of Tehran. (Photo: Courtesy of the NCRI)
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Updated 16 October 2020

Resistance exposes Iran’s secret nuclear weapons site

Resistance exposes Iran’s secret nuclear weapons site
  • Site is located in Sorkheh-Hessar region and is operated by Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, group claims
  • NCRI said despite 2015 JCPOA agreement with the UN, Iran continues to deceive the world in pursuit of nuclear bomb

CHICAGO: Leaders of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) have unveiled details of a previously unknown Iranian nuclear site just east of Tehran.

The site is located in the Sorkheh-Hessar region and is operated by Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND).

They argued that the identification of the new site exposes the Iranian regime’s lies and the failure of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the multinational deal on Iran’s nuclear program agreed in 2015.

“The exact location of the new site is on Damavand Highway, east of Tehran, two kilometers down the exit road to Sorkheh-Hessar,” said NCRI spokesman Alireza Jafazadeh. “At the entrance of this road, there is a checkpoint, as it is considered to be a military area. The location of this new site is north of the Khojir site, which is the largest complex manufacturing ballistic missiles for the Hemmat and Bakeri missile industry.”




General area of Tehran with Sorkheh-Hessar site. (Supplied)

Jafazadeh said the site is south of Iran’s command headquarters of the Aerospace Organization of Ministry of Defense and the Mechanical Industries of the Aerospace Organization, known as Mahallati Industries, located in Hakimiyeh area.

The new nuclear site is protected by Iran’s powerful military wing, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), he said.

Soona Samsami, the NCRI US representative said, “These new sites make it clear that the SPND, which pursues the building of nuclear weapons with the Ministry of Defense, is continuing its activities.

“Our revelation today once again proves that fact that the JCPOA did not prevent the mullahs’ strivings to acquire nuclear weapons and that the regime has even reneged on its commitments stipulated in the JCPOA. These activities have taken place since the JCPOA was signed in 2015 and even prior to the US leaving the Iran nuclear deal.”




The new SPND site shown with a circle; to the south is Khojir site and to the north is the headquarters of Aerospace Organization and Mahallati site. (Supplied)

Samsami said: “The JCPOA in 2015 overlooked some of the most undeniable aspects of the possible military dimensions of the Iranian regime’s nuclear weapons program. No wonder that the regime took no steps toward destroying its infrastructure in this regard. At best it temporarily stopped its overt operations.”

Jafazadeh said that despite the 2015 JCPOA agreement with the UN, Iran has continued to deceive the world in its pursuit of a nuclear bomb and they are “closer everyday.”

“The revelation today shows that the nuclear infrastructure that is tasked with building the bomb, the core of that program is the SPND, continues to thrive,” Jafarzadeh said.

“No parts of that program have been disbanded since 2015. It continued before the JCPOA, during the JCPOA and after the JCPOA.”




Satellite imagery of the location of new site of SPND for Chamran Group in Sorkheh-Hessar, east of Tehran. (Supplied)

The JCPOA deal was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231 and adopted on July 20, 2015. Iran’s compliance with the nuclear-related provisions of the JCPOA was to be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

On May 8, 2018, President Trump denounced the JCPOA saying the US was withdrawing from it. He said he would reinstate a new more comprehensive embargo and sanctions on the Iranian regime, criticizing former President Barack Obama who helped to push the JCPOA agreement.

Jafarzadeh said the satellite photos, details of the newly revealed nuclear site and the names of the Iranian government officials who oversee the nuclear weapons construction at the site are being provided to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which oversees the nuclear production of its members.

“The construction project of the new site in Sorkheh-Hessar started in 2012 and its construction took several years. Around 2017, some sections of SPND, including the geophysics section, known as the Chamran Group gradually moved in, as the construction of other parts of the site were later completed,” Jafazadeh said.

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READ MORE: Atomic energy watchdog seeks details on secret Iranian nuclear site

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“By transferring parts of SPND, the activities of its different sections have expanded. By being located in a military area, it has found an appropriate cover to keep the identities of the personnel working there a secret.”

Jafazadeh said that according to information provided by the Iranian Resistance in June 2017, SPND is using an IRGC missile site south of Semnan, to the east of Tehran, to test its explosives.

Among the information provided to the IAEA are details about the Iranian personnel overseeing the nuclear weapons program. The site was built under the supervision of Admiral Ali Shamkhani, who was the minister of defense and logistics. The project was handled by companies working with the IRGC’s Khatam-al-Anbiya garrison’s engineering department. The IRGC who handled this project was engineer called Hashemi Tabar, who is in charge of IRGC’s secret projects and has been involved in the construction of IRGC’s tunnels and secret sites.


Oman to end COVID-19 curfew for individuals and vehicles

Oman to end COVID-19 curfew for individuals and vehicles
Updated 9 min 26 sec ago

Oman to end COVID-19 curfew for individuals and vehicles

Oman to end COVID-19 curfew for individuals and vehicles

Oman's Covid-19 Supreme Committee has decided to end the curfew of individuals and vehicles as off Saturday, to halt commercial activities inside stores and resume the decision permitting work capacity to 50%.

More to follow ... 


Israeli troops mass at Gaza border amid rocket fire, air strikes and clashes in Israel

Israeli troops mass at Gaza border amid rocket fire, air strikes and clashes in Israel
Updated 13 May 2021

Israeli troops mass at Gaza border amid rocket fire, air strikes and clashes in Israel

Israeli troops mass at Gaza border amid rocket fire, air strikes and clashes in Israel
  • At least 83 people have been killed in Gaza since violence escalated on Monday
  • Seven people have been killed in Israel, its military said

GAZA/JERUSALEM: Israeli troops massed at Gaza’s border on Thursday and Palestinian militants pounded Israel with rockets in intense hostilities that have caused international concern and touched off clashes between Jews and Arabs in Israel.
Days of violence between Jewish Israelis and the country’s Arab minority worsened overnight, with synagogues attacked and fighting breaking out on the streets of some communities.
With concern growing that the violence that flared on Monday could spiral out of control, the United States is sending an envoy, Hady Amr, to the region. But efforts to end the worst hostilities in years appear so far to have made no progress.
In renewed air strikes on Gaza, Israel struck a six-story residential building in Gaza City that it said belonged to Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Palestinian enclave.
At least 83 people have been killed in Gaza since violence escalated on Monday, medics said, further straining hospitals already under heavy pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are facing Israel and Covid-19. We are in between two enemies,” said Asad Karam, 20, a construction worker, standing beside a road damaged during the air strikes. An electricity pole had collapsed by the road, its wires severed.
In the latest Palestinian rocket attacks, one rocket crashed into a building near Israel’s commercial capital of Tel Aviv, injuring five Israelis, police said. Sirens blared in cities across southern Israel, sending thousands running for shelters.
Seven people have been killed in Israel, its military said.
“All of Israel is under attack. It’s a very scary situation to be in,” said Margo Aronovic, a 26-year-old student, in Tel Aviv.
Israel has prepared combat troops along the Gaza border and was in “various stages of preparing ground operations,” a military spokesman said, a move that would recall similar incursions during Israel-Gaza wars in 2014 and 2008-2009.
Health authorities in Gaza said they were investigating the deaths of several people overnight who they said may have inhaled poisonous gas. Samples were being examined and they had yet to draw any final conclusions, they said.
US President Joe Biden said he hoped fighting “will be closing down sooner than later.” A British minister urged Israel and Hamas to “take a step back” from the escalation.
’Open-ended’ Confrontation
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to “continue acting to strike at the military capabilities of Hamas” and other Gaza groups. Hamas is regarded as a terrorist group by the United States and Israel.
On Wednesday, Israeli forces killed a senior Hamas commander and bombed several buildings, including high-rises and a bank, which Israel said was linked to the faction’s activities.
Hamas signalled defiance, with its leader, Ismail Haniyeh, saying: “The confrontation with the enemy is open-ended.”
Israel launched its offensive after Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in retaliation for Israeli police clashes with Palestinians near Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Turkey, whose hosting of Hamas leaders in Istanbul in recent years has contributed to a falling out with Israel, called on Muslim countries to show a united and clear stance over the Israel-Gaza violence.
In the fighting inside Israel, where some in the 21 percent Arab minority have mounted violent pro-Palestinian protests, attacks by Jews on Arabs passing by in ethnically mixed areas have worsened.
One person was in critical condition after being shot by Arabs in the Arab-Jewish town of Lod, where authorities imposed a curfew, police said.
Over 150 arrests were made overnight in Lod and Arab towns in northern Israel, police said.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called for an end to “this madness.”
“We are endangered by rockets that are being launched at our citizens and streets, and we are busying ourselves with a senseless civil war among ourselves,” said the president, whose role is largely ceremonial.
Flights canceled
A number of foreign carriers have canceled flights to Israel because of the unrest.
The fatalities in Israel include a soldier killed while patrolling the Gaza border and six civilians, including two children and an Indian worker, medical authorities said.
Gaza’s health ministry said 17 of the people killed in the enclave were children and seven were women. The Israeli military said some 400 of 1,600 rockets fired by Gaza factions had fallen short, potentially causing some Palestinian civilian casualties.
The conflict has led to the freezing of talks by Netanyahu’s opponents on forming a governing coalition to unseat him after Israel’s inconclusive March 23 election.
Although the latest problems in Jerusalem were the immediate trigger for hostilities, Palestinians are frustrated by setbacks to their aspirations for an independent state in recent years.
These include Washington’s recognition of disputed Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a US plan to end the conflict that they saw as favorable to Israel and settlement building.


Yemen’s President says Houthis reacted with violence to peace efforts

Yemen’s President says Houthis reacted with violence to peace efforts
Updated 13 May 2021

Yemen’s President says Houthis reacted with violence to peace efforts

Yemen’s President says Houthis reacted with violence to peace efforts
  • The Yemeni President said the Houthis went on committing crimes and massacres against the civilians
  • The FM of the UK Raab called on the Houthis to meet with the UN Special Envoy to Yemen and end their blocking of peace

DUBAI: Yemen’s president said the government has reacted constructively to peace efforts, but said the Houthi militia responded with more violence, state news agency SabaNew reported.
“We have dealt constructively with all efforts and calls for peace by the UN and International Community, we frequently offered concessions in order to stop bloodshed and put an end to our peoples’ suffering after more than six years, but this terrorist militia responded with more escalation,” SabaNew quoted Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s address to the people on the occasion of Eid.
He said the Houthis “went on committing crimes and massacres against the civilians, firing ballistic missiles and drones on the cities, residential areas in our country and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a move [that] reflected the behavior of these militias of terrorism, malice, criminal tendency and acting to serve the Iranian intention to trigger wars and crises,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Minister of the United Kingdom Dominic Raab called on the Houthis to meet with the UN Special Envoy to Yemen and end their blocking of peace.
“We continue to witness harrowing stories of Yemeni children being forced into battle and women being kidnapped in Houthi territory. The UK calls on the Houthis to meet with @OSE_Yemen and end their Marib offensive & the blocking of peace,” he tweeted.


UN Security Council urges immediate cease-fire in Yemen

UN Security Council urges immediate cease-fire in Yemen
Updated 13 May 2021

UN Security Council urges immediate cease-fire in Yemen

UN Security Council urges immediate cease-fire in Yemen
  • Council singles out military escalation by Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels in the oil-rich central province of Marib

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council called for an immediate halt to fighting in Yemen on Wednesday, saying that only a lasting cease-fire and political settlement can end the six-year conflict in the Arab world’s poorest nation and the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
In calling for a cessation of hostilities, the council singled out the military escalation by Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels in the oil-rich central province of Marib, the internationally recognized government’s last stronghold in Yemen’s northern half. The offensive has put at risk an estimated 1 million civilians who have fled there since 2015 to escape fighting elsewhere.
The council’s press statement followed a briefing by UN special envoy Martin Griffiths, who said he couldn’t emphasize enough that the more than yearlong Houthi offensive “has caused an astonishing loss of life, including children who have been mercilessly thrown into the battle.”
Displaced people in Marib are living in fear for their lives, he said, “and the offensive has been until now constantly disrupting peace efforts.”
In 2014, the Houthis overran the capital, Sanaa, and much of Yemen’s north, driving the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi into exile. A US-backed, Saudi-led coalition intervened the following year against the Houthis seeking to restore Hadi’s rule.
The intensified fighting in Marib has come amid an international and regional diplomatic push to end the conflict.
“The longer the Marib offensive goes on, the greater the risk to Yemen’s broader stability and social cohesion,” Griffiths warned. “It may lead to the transfer of conflict to other areas in Yemen, including those which have remained mercifully far from the main theaters of conflict. Yemen is an unstable country, easily destabilized.”
Griffiths expressed fear the Marib offensive may suggest to some that the war can be won militarily, but he said military conquest will only fuel further cycles of violence and unrest. He said Yemen can only be governed effectively by an “inclusive partnership” of “different political forces and components.”
UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock told the council that about 25,000 people have fled the fighting in Marib, many for the second or third time. If the fighting doesn’t stop, he said, “aid agencies fear up to 385,000 people could be displaced in the coming months.”
Lowcock warned that “famine is still stalking the country, with five million people just a step away from starving,” and COVID-19 cases are still surging, “pushing the health care system to collapse.” Famine, disease and other miseries are the result of the war and that is why “it is so important to stop the fighting,” he said.
Since March 2020, Griffiths has been trying to get the Houthis and the government to commit to a nationwide cease-fire, to reopen Sanaa airport to commercial traffic, ensure an uninterrupted flow of fuel and commodities through the main port of Hodeida, and to resume a political process aimed at reaching a political settlement.
“I am here to say that a deal is still very much possible,” Griffiths told the council.
“There is strong international backing and there is regional momentum for the UN’s efforts,” he said, expressing gratitude to Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United States and others. They are working closely and “without any differences between us,” he said.
Griffiths said the differences between the parties in Yemen “are not unbridgeable” and “a deal can be achieved easily, very quickly,” if both sides agree.
But he told the council that on several occasions during negotiations, the Houthis refused to meet with him, including recently. “To say this sends a wrong signal is an understatement,” he said.
Security Council members expressed support for Griffiths “and expressed their expectation that the Houthis meet him soon.”
Shortly after the council meeting ended, Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres announced the appointment of Griffiths as the UN’s next humanitarian chief, replacing Lowcock. But Guterres said Griffiths will continue to serve as the UN’s top envoy for Yemen “until a transition has been announced.”
In the coming weeks, Griffiths said, all countries should push the parties, in particular the Houthis, to conclude negotiations so the fighting stops.
“And I would like to be able to resolve that before we meet again,” he said.


President Abbas says will continue to do ‘everything possible’ to defend the Palestinian people

President Abbas says will continue to do ‘everything possible’ to defend the Palestinian people
Updated 13 May 2021

President Abbas says will continue to do ‘everything possible’ to defend the Palestinian people

President Abbas says will continue to do ‘everything possible’ to defend the Palestinian people
  • Abbas says they would not accept the fait accompli that Israel wants to impose in Jerusalem
  • The Palestinian president demanded that US and Israel end to the occupation

LONDON: President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday that his government is doing everything possible to defend the Palestinian people.
The aging Palestinian leader said he was working to stop Israeli forces and settlers harming Jerusalem and other Palestinian territories.
His comments came at the start of a leadership meeting at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah to discuss the repercussions of “Israel’s aggression toward the Palestinian people.”
“The continued aggression of the occupation forces against our people everywhere, including the aggression on the Gaza Strip, exceeded all limits, throwing out all international norms and conventions,” Abbas said.
“This puts us in front of very difficult choices imposed by the national duty in defending our sanctities, our rights and our people,” he added.
The president said that “Jerusalem is a red line, it is the heart and soul of Palestine and its eternal capital, and there is no peace, security or stability except with its complete liberation.”
The Palestinian president said they would not accept the fait accompli that Israel wants to impose in Jerusalem by targeting the Palestinian presence.
He said Israel was carrying out war crimes and ethnic cleansing to remove the Arab Islamic identity of Jerusalem.
An angry Abbas, said this was being done by stealing homes and desecrating religious sites such as the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Directing his speech to the US and Israel, Abbas demanded an end to the occupation, adding that the Palestinians will never leave their homeland.
He said the Palestinian families living in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood who are facing eviction by Israel, will not leave.