The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) says the advanced technology could help Iran dramatically speed up uranium enrichment and eventually lead to atomic-bomb material.
The chairman of NCRI's Foreign Affairs Committee, Mohammad Mohadessin, told a news conference in Paris today that his group has located what it believes is a secret production site for P-2 centrifuges near Tehran.
Mohadessin further claims blueprints for the P-2 centrifuges were provided to Iran in 1995 by a black-market network run by Abdul Qadeer Khan, then Pakistan's leading nuclear scientist.
NCRI, which is widely believed to be a front group for the Mujahedin-e Khalq (People's Mujahedin) of Iran, is considered a terrorist organization by the United States.
In August 2002, the group was among the first to alert the world of Iran's uranium-enrichment activities.
(ncr-iran.org, agency reports)
A control panel at the Bushehr nuclear power plant (Fars)
CASCADES AND CENTRIFUGES: Experts and pundits alike continue to debate the goals and status of Iran's nuclear program. It remains unclear whether the program is, as Tehran insists, a purely peaceful enegy project or, as the United States claims, part of an effort to acquire nuclear weapons.
On June 7, 2006, RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel spoke with nuclear expert Shannon Kile of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden to help sort through some of the technical issues involved. "[Natanz] will be quite a large plant," Kile said. "There will be about 50,000 centrifuges and how much enriched uranium that can produce [is] hard to say because the efficiency of the centrifuges is not really known yet. But it would clearly be enough to be able to produce enough [highly-enriched uranium] for a nuclear weapon in fairly short order, if that's the route that they chose to go...." (more)