Iranian Group Says That Secrets Remain

VIENNA -- Iran bought blueprints of a nuclear bomb from the same black-market network that gave Libya such diagrams, and continues to enrich uranium despite a commitment to suspend the technology that can be used for atomic weapons, an Iranian opposition group said Wednesday.

Farid Soleimani, a senior official for the National Council for Resistance in Iran, said the diagram was provided by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani head of the nuclear network linked to clandestine programs both in Iran and in Libya.

"He gave them the same weapons design he gave the Libyans, as well as more in terms of weapons design," Soleimani told reporters in Vienna. He said the diagram and related material on how to make nuclear weapons was handed to the Iranians between 1994 and 1996.

The International Atomic Energy Agency -- the UN nuclear watchdog -- had no immediate comment on either allegation. But a diplomat familiar with the agency and its investigations into both Libya and Iran's nuclear program said the IAEA has long feared that Iran might have received bomb-making blueprints from Khan.

Libya bought engineers' drawings of a Chinese-made bomb through the Khan network as part of the covert nuclear program that it renounced last year. Iran says it does not have such drawings, and no evidence has been found to dispute that claim. But experts say it is possible that Iran already possesses a copy. Former UN nuclear inspector David Albright, in comments earlier this year, described the Chinese design Libya owned up to having as something "that would not take a lot of modifying" to fit it on Iran's successfully tested Shahab-3 ballistic missile.

On the allegations that Iran continued enrichment at a secret site near Lavizan-Shian, outside of Tehran, the diplomat said the agency was looking into the possibility of equipment moved from Lavizan-Shian to an unknown location. In a possible allusion to the group's claims, a report detailing IAEA investigations into Iran's nuclear programs prepared for the agency's Nov. 25 board meeting notes that Iran has failed to produce a trailer that apparently contained nuclear equipment at Lavizan-Shian for IAEA inspection.

Detailing what he said were Tehran's plans to make nuclear weapons, Soleimani said that "as we speak, the site continues to produce [enriched] uranium. The site ... is not the only one that is being kept secret. There is a huge network devoted to this activity in Iran, and unfortunately the IAEA has hitherto understood the apparatus in only a small way."

Soleimani's organization is the political wing of the People's Mujahedin, banned in the United States as a terrorist organization. While much of its information has not been confirmed, it was instrumental in 2002 in revealing Iran's enrichment program at Natanz.