Experts in the field previously believed that Iran and North Korea only worked together on the development of missile technology.
Now it appears that the two countries have been exchanging information on nuclear weapons and nuclear warhead design. The main opposition movement in Iran, Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), has released information that experts in the field have visited Iran as recently as April 2015.
Iranian opposition releases details of visits
The regular and extensive exchange of information related to nuclear technology was revealed by the MEK after being discovered by members of its network inside Iran. The MEK sent out a detailed account of a 2013 visit to North Korea by a group of Iranian nuclear weapons experts, led by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was also present when North Korea made its last nuclear test.
During the last week of April 2015, a group of 7 North Korean experts visited Iran. The group included scientists working on nuclear warhead design, as well as ballistic missile systems. The visit was the third time that a North Korean nuclear and missile delegation had visited Iran in 2015.
The MEK sources that exposed the visits claim that another delegation will arrive in Iran in June, with the nine experts making a secret visit.
Such close relations between Tehran and Pyongyang should surely cause alarm bells to ring among the world powers currently negotiating with Iran. North Korea has lied and cheated its way to building a nuclear weapon, and that should be cause for concern. The deadline for an agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries is June 30.
Official announcements disproved by investigation
Evidence of nuclear cooperation between the two nations disproves what Iranian leaders consistently tell the world. Now it becomes more apparent why Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei does not allow the IAEA to inspect Iranian military sites, conduct snap inspections of any sites, or conduct interviews with nuclear scientists.
So far negotiations have seen Tehran successfully remove its missile program out of discussions over a nuclear agreement. In doing so it has also managed to remove its nuclear cooperation with North Korea, which has been a long-held secret.
MEK sources reveal that the North Korean delegation who visited Iran in April were housed in a secret guesthouse. The secure 8-story building is located in the Khojir area, northeast of Tehran, in the Imam Khomeini Complex which is controlled by the Ministry of Defense (MoD).
During their stay they were looked after by the Center for Research and Design of New Aerospace Technology, one of seven sections of the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND). The section is led by Dr. Aref Bali Lashak, who was personally responsible for the Korean delegation.
The North Koreans visited with this particular section because of its responsibility for researching and manufacturing electronic interior parts of a nuclear warhead.
Incredibly detailed information
Reports of Fakhrizadeh’s presence when North Korea carried out its last nuclear test in 2013 have since been confirmed by a two-year investigation by the MEK. It reveals that Fakhrizadeh traveled to North Korea via China, using the alias “Dr. Hassan Mohseni.”
Fakhrizadeh, is a crucial part of Iran’s military nuclear program, as well as the head of SPND. He is also a Brigadier General of the IRGC, and the IAEA has repeatedly had its interview requests rebuffed.
The formation of SPND was first revealed by MEK sources in July 2011, but it took until August 2014 for the U.S. State Department to place it on its sanctions list.
The MEK reports that Fakhrizadeh stayed in Hotel Koryo in Pyongyang during his visit to North Korea. He was accompanied by two other SPND nuclear experts and spent just 2 hours inside the Iranian embassy. The Iranian Ambassador to North Korea, Mansour Chavoshi, personally facilitated communications with officials from the North Korean regime.
How will U.S. change approach to negotiations?
The Iranian opposition has provided incredibly detailed information which proves that acquiring nuclear weapons remains a top priority for the Iranian regime, even as negotiations over its program continue.
Close cooperation between Iran and North Korea has been concealed for over 30 years, and proves that the P5+1 negotiations are doomed to provide a short-term solution, if any at all. Such deception shows that Tehran is not to be trusted.
Such a realization should prompt U.S. officials to reconsider their strategy towards the Iranian regime; moving from one which delays Tehran’s ability to build a bomb to one which eliminates it. Anything less than an agreement which prevents the building of a nuclear weapon in Iran will be difficult to accept given the information provided by the MEK.