Iranian nuclear expert Amir Hossein Shirani confessed to working in secret in a nuclear facility and stressed Iran’s intention to manufacture nuclear weapons in a televised interview provided by the Sunni rebel group Jundullah.
Jundullah, based in the Iranian province of Baluchistan, is an insurgent Sunni group with ties to the ethnic Baluch insurgents in Pakistan, and has released a statement by the Iranian nuclear expert Amir Amir Hossein Shirani in which he admitted that he had worked for three years in enriching uranium at a secret nuclear research center in the central city of Isfahan.
In the televised statement, aired by Al Arabiya News Channel, Shirani said he was recruited by one of his relatives called Ahmed Sultani, the general manager of the facility.
“During the time I worked there, I learnt that the center is working on enriching uranium for the manufacturing of nuclear weapons,” he said.
Shirani added that all activities at the center were shrouded in secrecy.
“Because engineer Sultani was my relative, I got to attend most of the meetings, where those who worked at the center stressed the necessity of possessing nuclear weapons because Iran’s enemies like Israel and USA have nuclear arsenals.”
They also cited the example of their neighbor Pakistan, which was able to develop nuclear weapons.
“They said that they are not less skilled than Pakistan and therefore they can also have nuclear technology.”
During those meetings, Shirani pointed out, there was no mention of the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
“It was all about developing nuclear weapons. Iran is a threat to the Arab region and the entire world,” he said in the statement.
According to Shirani, several representatives of the offices of Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as well as the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security and the Revolutionary Guards used to visit the center on regular basis.
Work at the center, Shirani added, went on 24 hours a day and was divided into three shifts. Around 50 engineers worked in each shift
Shirani gave the names of people who work at the research center, especially senior engineers, as well as the exact address of the center.
It was all about developing nuclear weapons. Iran is a threat to the Arab region and the entire world
Iranian nuclear expert Amir Hossein Shirani
On October 8, Jundullah declared that it captured an employee at one of Iran’s secret nuclear facilities in Isfahan and transferred him to the group’s headquarters in Baluchistan.
The rebel group, which claims to defend the rights of the Sunni and Baluch minority in Iran, threatened to reveal secrets about Iran’s nuclear program if the Iranian government does not release jailed members of the group.
“Iranian authorities know well what information is in the hands of Amir Hossein Shirani, especially regarding top Iranian nuclear experts,” said the statement posted Jundullah’s website after the abduction.
“The publication of these confessions will be costly for Iran’s regime,” the statement added.
Tehran considers Jundullah a terrorist group with links to both American and Pakistani intelligence and accuses it of staging terrorist attacks against Iranian civilians.
The rebel group, on the other hand, insists it only targets military and government sites and that its aim is to demand equality for the Baluch minority. Iran’s Jundullah is part of a wider Baluch nationalist movement active in both Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan and Pakistan’s Balochistan Province.
Jundullah has frequently called upon other ethnic minorities in Iran like Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen to join the struggle against Persian hegemony and to demand equal rights for all Iranian citizens.
(Translated from the Arabic by Sonia Farid)
Iranian authorities know well what information is in the hands of Amir Hossein Shirani, especially regarding top Iranian nuclear experts
Jundullah rebel group