Iran speeding up nuclear bomb programme, exiled group claims

Other News Materials 20 February 2008 20:52 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) -  Iran has "speeded up" rather than halted its nuclear bomb programme and has already set up a command and control centre near Tehran, an exiled Iranian opposition group claimed Wednesday.

The unverified allegation contradicts a December report by the US intelligence claiming that the Iranian regime had stopped its nuclear weapons development programme in 2003.

Mohammad Mohaddessin, an official of the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said in a statement issued in Brussels that the group had passed on the information to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna and had asked it to send its inspectors to the site.

"Lack of firmness by the international community has offered the regime the opportunity to get closer to obtaining the atomic bomb," Mohaddessin said.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is destined for civilian rather than military means.

Mohaddessin also said the Iranian nuclear programme was being assisted by experts from North Korea.

The NCRI is considered the political wing of the People's Mujahedin of Iran, a group that seeks to overthrow Iran's clerical regime and which is listed as a terrorist organization by Tehran, the European Union and the United States.