Wednesday

2nd Dec 2020

Iran opposition group accuses EU of 'appeasement'

A leading Iranian exiled opposition group claimed on Wednesday (20 February) it has evidence that the Iranian government is still engaged in the development of nuclear weapons.

"The Iranian regime is undoubtedly developing the nuclear bomb," said Mohammad Mohaddessin, the chairperson of the foreign affairs committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) at a Brussels press conference.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

After offering details of what they claim is an ongoing nuclear weapons programme, including satellite photographs of two previously uncovered sites, Mr Mohaddessin then lashed out at European policy toward Iran, accusing the EU of appeasement.

Referring to the "huge trade" between Europe and Iran, Mr Mohaddessin said: "The EU is trying to achieve security through appeasing the Iranian regime."

"The EU is appeasing the Iranian regime and it is a disaster for the Iranian people. You remember what happened in the 1930s?

"They carried out exactly the same policy with Hitler that the EU is doing now with the Iranian regime."

The group, a coalition of political organisations that oppose Iran's Islamist government, outlined information it says it has obtained from sources "within the regime itself at various levels" and from the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran, the NCRI's largest member.

The NCRI spokesperson said that after April 2007, the Iranian regime entered a new phase in its nuclear project and for the first time established a centre for command and control for the completion of nuclear bombs.

At the first site, in the Noor suburb of Tehran, the command centre coordinates all the other sites that are involved in the production of nuclear weapons.

The command centre is situated across from the Malek Ashtar University, which the group says the school does not operate like a normal university and only has a handful of students.

"Rather, it is a centre for research and development of weapons that works in conjunction with the [command centre]," said Mr Mohaddessin.

The second site, a military-secured zone in Khojir region southeast of Tehran, is home to the government's project to manufacture nuclear warheads, the group says.

When quizzed on their sources and the provenance of the satellite photographs, the group said that they come from "hundreds of sources and reports" from within the country.

The group passed on its information to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Tuesday, and called on the agency to immediately send inspectors to the sites revealed.

An unnamed IAEA official said the agency is aware of the allegations, according to the International Herald Tribune, but could not comment.

The group also called on the United Nations security council to impose comprehensive sanctions on Iran and the EU to remove the NCRI's military wing, the People's Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), also known as the Mujahedin-e-Khalk (MEK) from its list of proscribed terrorist groups.

The EU currently lists some 60 groups on its terror black list, including Basque separatists ETA and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

Originally a leftist group that mixed Communism with Islamism, the PMOI was persecuted by the Iranian government, with thousands of their members killed. They were subsequently sheltered by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

The group's accusations come days after the Bush administration decided to submit to IAEA inspectors intelligence data alleging that Iran had been developing nuclear weapons until just under four years ago.

The IAEA is set to release a report on Iran's past nuclear activities next week in which the global nuclear watchdog is widely expected to give Iran a 'clean bill of health', saying it has no secret nuclear weapons programme.

The security council has already imposed two sets of sanctions against the Iranian government over the issue of nuclear weapons. A 'clean' IAEA report would mean that a third batch of sanctions is unlikely.

Interview

Lithuania bids to host EU cyber-centre

Lithuania wants a new EU cyber-security centre to hang its flag in a historic TV tower in Vilnius, on one of Europe's modern front lines.

EU red-flags Israel's Givat Hamatos settlement

New Israeli settlements around Jerusalem could do more harm to Middle East peace than Israel's recent deals with Arab states did good, EU foreign relations chief Josep Borrell has indicated.

Analysis

There is no 'Russia-Turkey alliance'

Talk of a grand Turkey-Russia realignment is premature, Nato and Russia experts say - despite Putin and Erdoğan's friendly ties.

Opinion

The under-reported power struggle at the top of the OSCE

An internal power struggle has undermined the world's leading international security body since the summer. The OSCE is due to finally get new leaders in December but the unprecedented power vacuum has hit at a crunch time for hotspots worldwide.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic climate debate on 17 November!
  2. UNESDAMaking healthier diets the easy choice
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersUN Secretary General to meet with Nordic Council on COVID-19
  4. UNESDAWell-designed Deposit Return Schemes can help reach Single-Use Plastics Directive targets
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector

Latest News

  1. EU law needed to protect free press, NGOs say
  2. Socialists demand resignation of EU border-agency chief
  3. Orbán ally admits he was at Brussels lockdown 'sex party'
  4. Legal battle over oil giant Shell's emissions begins
  5. Chance for Christian Democrats to draw line against extremism
  6. Frontex takes transparency activists to EU court
  7. EU's opportunity to curb online politics ads
  8. China and Russia encircling divided Western allies

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us