Annex | Nuclear Explosive Development Indicators & Programme management structure

C. Nuclear Explosive Development Indicators

17. Within its nuclear programme, Iran has developed the capability to enrich uranium to a level of upto 20% U-235, declared to be for use as fuel in research reactors. In the absence of any indicators that Iranis currently considering reprocessing  irradiated nuclear fuel to extract plutonium,23 the Agency has, to date, focused its analysis of Iran’s nuclear programme on an acquisition path involving high enriched uranium (HEU). Based on indicators observed by the Agency in connection with Iran’s nuclear activities,the Agency’s work has concentrated on an analysis pertinent to the development of an HEU implosion device.


C.1. Programme management structure

18. The Agency has been provided with information by Member States which indicates that the activities referred to in Sections C.2 to C.12 were, at least for some significant period of time, managed through a programme structure, assisted by advisory bodies, and that, owing to the importance of these efforts, senior Iranian figures featured within this command structure. From analysis of this informationand information provided by Iran, and through its own endeavours, the Agency has been able to construct what it believes to be a good understanding of activities undertaken by Iran prior to the end of 2003. The Agency’s ability to construct an equally good understanding of activities in Iran after the end of 2003 is reduced, due to the more limited information available to the Agency. For ease of reference, the figure below depicts, in summary form, what the Agency understands of the programme structure, and administrative changes in that structure over the years. Attachment 1 to this Annex provides furtherdetails, derived from that information, about the organizational arrangements and projects within that programme structure.

19. The Agency received information from Member States which indicates that, sometime after the commencement by Iran in the late 1980s of covert procurement activities,24 organizational structures and administrative arrangements for an undeclared nuclear programme were established and managed through the Physics Research Centre (PHRC), and were overseen, through a Scientific Committee, by the Defence Industries Education Research Institute (ERI), established to coordinate defence R&D for the Ministry of Defence Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL). Iran has confirmed that the PHRC was established in 1989 at Lavisan-Shian, in Tehran. Iran has stated that the PHRC was created with the purpose of “preparednessto combat and neutralization of casualties due to nuclear attacks and accidents (nuclear defence) and also support and provide scientific advice and services to the Ministry of Defence”. Iran has stated further that those activities were stopped in 1998.25 In late 2003/early 2004, Iran completely cleared the site.26

20. According to information provided by Member States, by the late 1990s or early 2000s, the PHRC activities were consolidated under the “AMAD Plan”. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (Mahabadi) was the Executive Officer of the AMAD Plan, the executive affairs of which were performed by the “Orchid Office”.27 Most of the activities carried out under the AMAD Plan appear to have been conducted during 2002 and 2003.

21. The majority of the details of the work said to have been conducted under the AMAD Plan come from the alleged studies documentation which, as indicated in paragraph 6 above, refer to studies conducted in three technical areas: the green salt project; high explosives (including the development ofexploding bridgewire detonators) ; and re-engineering of the payload chamber of the Shahab 3 missilere-entry vehicle.

22. According to the Agency’s assessment of the information contained in that documentation, the green salt project (identified as Project 5.13) was part of a larger project (identified as Project 5) to provide a source of uranium suitable for use in an undisclosed enrichment programme. The product of this programme would be converted into metal for use in the new warhead which was the subject of the missile re-entry vehicle studies (identified as Project 111). As of May 2008, the Agency was not in a position to demonstrate to Iran the connection between Project 5 and Project 111. However, subsequently, the Agency was shown documents which established a connection between Project 5 and Project 111, and hence a link between nuclear material and a new payload development programme.

23. Information the Agency has received from Member States indicates that, owing to growing concerns about the international security situation in Iraq and neighbouring countries at that time, work onthe AMAD Plan was stopped rather abruptly pursuant to a “halt order” instruction issued in late 2003 by senior Iranian officials. According to that information, however, staff remained in place to record and document the achievements of their respective projects. Subsequently, equipment and work places were either cleaned or disposed of so that there would be little to identify the sensitive nature of the work whichhad been undertaken.

24. The Agency has other information from Member States which indicates that some activities previously carried out under the AMAD Plan were resumed later, and that MrFakhrizadeh retained the principal organizational role, first under a new organization known as the Section for Advanced Development Applications and Technologies (SADAT) 28, which continued to report to MODAFL, and later, in mid-2008, as the head of the Malek Ashtar University of  Technology (MUT) in Tehran.29 The Agency has been advised by a Member State that, in February 2011, Mr Fakhrizadeh moved his seat of operations from MUT to an adjacent location known as the Modjeh Site, and that he now leads the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research.30 The Agency is concerned because some of the activities undertaken after 2003 would be highly relevant to a nuclear weapon programme


2 comments on “Annex | Nuclear Explosive Development Indicators & Programme management structure

  1. […] Access denied to Lavisan-Shian, suspected …military dimensions of the nuclear program, meanwhile d… […]

  2. […] Uranium conversion project…to provide a source of uranium suitable for use in an undisclosed enric… […]

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