Sold to Iran Russian “Laser Guns” that Enriches Uranium

While Iranian president Mohamed Khatami was assuring the world that developing a nuclear weapon would be contrary to Iran’s articles of Islamic faith, DEBKA-Net-Weekly discovered that in the second week of July, unmarked Russian military transports delivered to Iran “laser guns”, large pieces of machinery capable of enriching uranium.

Details of how this apparatus works are a closely held secret, but our intelligence sources are assured that it is one of Russia’s most advanced pieces of equipment. A second delivery was made last week on August 1 and 2, along with Russian technicians to assemble the gun and teach Iranian nuclear technicians how to use it.

According to the information obtained by DEBKA-Net-Weekly, “laser guns” have been installed at two of Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities, Natanz and Moallen Kalayeh. The latter is Iran’s most secluded subterranean nuclear plant, buried under the Albroz Mountains 40 km north of Tehran. In its tall tunnels, Iran carries out its most secret tests. Tehran has never admitted to this site’s existence.

Moallen Kalayeh used to be a small rural village. Today it is a closed township populated by hundreds of scientists and technicians. It is also one of the most heavily protected places in the country. Some of the Russian technicians who accompanied the “laser gun” are still there. The fact that the Iranians began operating the new equipment at top speed indicates that they are at the peak of their efforts to build up a stock of enriched uranium sufficient for a nuclear device before September 9, when the Nuclear Atomic Energy Agency’s directors convene in Vienna to review their nuclear program. Tehran is also racing against the clock to forestall the US-North Korean talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear program, due to begin next fall with China, Japan, Russia and South Korea participating.

Iran is making sure than none of these international events will stand in the way of it attaining a nuclear weapon.

Our Moscow sources quote Russian military circles as asserting that the “laser gun” could not have been consigned to Iran without the approval of President Vladimir Putin. This would be a ploy to get round his promise to President George W. Bush not to send Iran spent nuclear rods to fuel the Bushehr nuclear reactor and a way of compensating Iran for this failure.

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