Insider news & Analysis in Iran

By INU Staff

INU - On Tuesday, a press conference was held in Washington DC by the US representative office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) where it was revealed that on orders of Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, Tehran has accelerated its missile activities and tests since the Iran Nuclear Deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of JCPOA.

Based on detailed intelligence obtained by the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) from inside Iran — specifically reports obtained from the Defense Ministry and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) — Khamenei has tasked the IRGC’s Aerospace Force with executing this mandate.

For a long time the Iranian opposition has established itself as one of the main sources for exposing secret aspects of Iran’s nuclear activities, as well as the regime’s Weapons of Mass Destruction program.

There is a rising concern over Iran’s missile program. Wide ranging new sanctions were imposed on Iran by the US Senate last week, partly for continuing and expanding its ballistic missile program.

NCRI-US Deputy Director Alireza Jafarzadeh said, “The IRGC’s Aerospace Force is responsible for the regime’s missiles program and the scope of the program is much more extensive than what it was previously perceived.”

Locations of 42 centers involved in the production, testing and launching of missiles by the IRGC were verified by the Iranian opposition. A dozen of these sites were revealed for the first time, and 15 are part of the regime’s missile manufacturing network. These 15 centers include several factories that are related to a missile industry group, which together form a web of missile production facilities.

Four of Iran’s most important missile centers in Semnan, Lar (in Fars Province), Khorramabad, and in the vicinity of Bidgeneh Village near Karaj city were identified by the MEK. Two of these centers are described by the regime as missile cities.

According to the MEK, the missile center in Semnan has been actively collaborating with SPND, the engineering unit for the nuclear weapons program inside the Iranian government, known as the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research. Tests related to the SPND organization are conducted at this site.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran first revealed the existence of SPND (a Persian acronym) in July of 2011 in Washington, DC, and SPND was placed in the sanctions list three years later.

The NCRI said that the IRGC’s missile sites are created based on North Korean models and blueprints, and North Korean experts helped IRGC leaders to build them.

Deputy Director Jafarzadeh stressed that the Iranian regime has remained in power by relying on two pillars: internal repression and external export of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, and that its illicit nuclear weapons program, with its continued expansion of ballistic missiles, serve these pillars.

He added that “as the regime becomes more isolated domestically and its grip on Iranian society weakens, it resorts more frantically to the second pillar of its bid to keep power.” He said that Iranian President Rouhani has “neither the capacity nor the will” to set aside its policy of ballistic missile expansion. Supreme Leader Khamenei has the final say, and he expressly stated on May 10, 2017, “There is no difference between change of behavior and change of regime,” and on May 23, 2017, President Rouhani emphasized that the missile activities will continue unabated.

Jafarzadeh noted that the Iranian people oppose the regime’s nuclear and missile programs, and its interference in the region. He also spoke about the major gathering of Iranians in Paris on July 1st, where tens of thousands of Iranians and their international supporters, including hundreds of luminaries from all over the world, will declare their unequivocal opposition to the policies of exporting Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, as well as the expansionist interventions in the region, and the nuclear and missile programs.

“The July 1st #FreeIran rally is a referendum against the religious fascism ruling Iran and its warmongering policies in the region, as well as against its nuclear and missile programs.” Jafarzadej said.

Finally, the conference underscored the need for:

1. The enactment and enforcement of effective and broad sanctions against Iran’s missile program and all related entities, institutions, and individuals.

2. Designation of the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) for its role as the force responsible for terrorism as well as the missile program.

3. Expulsion of the IRGC and its affiliated militias and proxies from the region, particularly from Syria and Iraq.

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