On June 13 the Washington Times ran an article asserting that Iran is using newly created front companies in a bid to frustrate US and United Nations sanctions on its suspect nuclear programs. The charges were made by the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which supports the overthrow of the regime in Tehran. The NCRI is the political arm of the People’s Mojahedin, a secular Iranian umbrella group that broke violently with the Islamic leaders of the 1979 revolution shortly after the ouster of US-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
That doesn’t necessarily make the claim invalid. It was NCRI after all back in 2002 that supplied the information about Iran’s nuclear program that kicked off the whole debate that continues to this day.
The Times, using NCRI supplied information, claimed that in two cases, Iranian authorities simply changed the name and headquarters mailing address for companies targeted for sanctions by the US Treasury on June 8 and the UN Security Council. Both firms the Pars Tarash Co. and the Farayand Technique Co. – are involved in the testing, production and storage of centrifuges needed to enrich uranium, a critical technical hurdle in the production of nuclear weapons. In the Farayand case, according to the NCRI, Iranian officials simply renamed the firm the ‘Technology of Centrifuge of Iran Co.,’ relocating the headquarters to an office building in north Tehran. The name and address change came after a visit from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear monitor.
The Washington Times article was, however, somewhat old news. Perhaps they operate on the model that something it isn’t news until IT say it is news.
Back in 2006 the NCRI held a press conference in Paris in which it revealed a new secret company and a new secret site in Tehran producing P1 and P2 centrifuges. What does this have to do with Dr Khan? I’m glad you asked. The NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, Mr Mohammad Mohad, said:
About a year ago, a company by the name of ‘Iran Centrifuge Technology Company’, known as TSA, was set up and is currently producing P1 and P2 centrifuges. This company plays a very important role in the regime’s nuclear activities and the regime has kept it secret. The company’s Chair, Jafar Mohammadi, is a top expert in the manufacture of centrifuges. He was transferred to TSA from the Ministry of Defense. Two years ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency placed seals on two companies in Tehran by the name of Pars Tarash and Farayand Technic. These companies were involved in making centrifuges in 2002 and 2003. Information on both of them was previously revealed by the Iranian Resistance. The regime replaced these two companies with TSA, and all the personnel at Pars Tarash and Farayand Technic were redeployed to there. The office of TSA in Tehran is at the following address: Yousef Abad district, No. 1, third floor, 37th street. There is no sign indicating the office.
Some of the parts for the P2 centrifuges are being produced in a defense research institute at the Defense Ministry, headed by Mohammad Eslami. Eslami is a veteran member of the Revolutionary Guards research directorate. He was in charge of contacts with A Q Khan in the Revolutionary Guards.