Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Does the IAEA know? Does it care?

If someone says he's going to kill you, take him seriously. And if a country makes it patently clear that it intends to build and hide nuclear weapons, shouldn't someone be worried about now?

An Iranian exile who opposes his country's Islamic government said Monday that Iran's military is building a series of secret tunnels to hide equipment for missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. Alireza Jafarzadeh, who helped expose nuclear facilities in Iran in the past, told a news conference in September that tunnels were under construction mainly in an area called Parchin. But on Monday he said the secret construction of missiles extends well beyond that location. He said that on orders of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei the Iranian defense ministry has taken over an area in eastern and southern regions of Tehran. North Korean experts have cooperated with Iran in the design and building of the complex, producing blueprints, for instance, the dissident said. A leading Iranian aerospace group, Hemmat Industries, is located in the area and is building three versions of Shahab and Ghadar missiles, Jafarzadeh said. The Shahab 3 has a range of 1,300 to 1,900 kilometers and Ghadar, still in the production stage, 2,500 to 3,000 kilometers, he said. Some of the tunnels are located in Kahk Sefid Mountain, he said, pointing to a map. In an interview, Jafarzadeh said the most significant development was that Iran was concentrating its work on missiles and nuclear warheads all together in tunnels underground in the Tehran area.