- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Iran is deliberately trying to deceive U.N. inspectors in charge of implementing last summer’s nuclear deal, according to a prominent Iranian dissident group, which claims that Tehran has created a “top secret committee” to provide false information to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the secret committee is comprised of top officials from the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics, who are “working to cover up” the potential military dimensions of the ongoing Iranian nuclear program.

The NCRI claim, which was revealed to journalists Wednesday, was not immediately verifiable.

The group is known for its controversial history in Washington, but is seen to have deep sources inside Iran’s nuclear community and its members are credited with having made game-changing revelations about Tehran’s activities in the past.

Most notably, during the early 2000s, NCRI claims exposed the existence of Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility and the Arak heavy-water plutonium facility — two operations that later became the center of international scrutiny and distrust toward Tehran nuclear activities.

Under the nuclear agreement reached between the Obama administration, Iran and other world powers in July, the Islamic republic agreed to curtail its nuclear activities in exchange for economic sanctions relief from the West.

It also agreed to ensure that its ongoing nuclear activities do not have any potential military dimensions (PMD) by opening the activities to inspections from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N.’s main nuclear watchdog group.

According to the NCRI’s claim Wednesday, Iran subsequently set up a secret committee specifically to address lingering disputes over its PMD with the IAEA.

In such, the committee is actively “forging suitable scenarios for non-military usage of the [nuclear ]program, which would seem plausible to the IAEA, and to falsely convince the international community that Iran has never been after the nuclear bomb,” the NCRI said in a statement. “This committee prepared the PMD answers delivered to the IAEA on August 15, 2015.”

Among the foremost issues related to the PMD question are explosive detonators called EBW (Exploding Bridge Wire) detonators, according to the NCRI, which claimed Wednesday that such detonators are an integral part of a program to develop an implosion type nuclear device.

The dissident group claimed that the IAEA said in a September 2014 report that Iranian officials had offered “information and explanations to the Agency on Iran’s work after 2007 related to the application of EBW detonators in the oil and gas industry which was not inconsistent with specialized industry practices.”

According to the NCRI, Tehran forged documents and exchanged communication between the Oil Ministry and the Defense Ministry to prove that the EBWs were produced and used by the oil industry. But, the NCRI claims, the National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC), which is responsible for all oil and gas drilling, has not received even one of EBW detonators that had been produced by the Ministry of Defense.

“This renders the regime’s claims utterly false,” the dissident group said.

The group said its claims were based on deep intelligence gathering effort by by members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq. The so-called “MEK” is a main component of the NCRI, but has long drawn scrutiny in Washington because the State Department had listed it as a terrorist organization until 2012.

• Guy Taylor can be reached at gtaylor@washingtontimes.com.

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