Iran held 'nuclear war' conference
Exclusive: Revolutionary Guards university held conference on 'chemical, biological and nuclear wars'
Iran's Imam Hossein University held a conference last year "in the field of chemical, biological, and nuclear wars," Ynetnews has learned.
In an announcement published on the university's website, which is no longer online, the university declared: "With the help of the almighty God, the third nationwide congress on the modern defensive wars in the field of chemical, biological, nuclear wars will be held in Imam Hossein University on 3rd &4th of January 2006."
"The congress also will discuss the new types of bombs, such as: electromagnetic, air fuelled, graphite, laser and enfeebling bombs. The professors, researchers, scientists and other persons interested in the subject are welcomed to send the results of their researches or their scientific earnings to the conference bureau," the web page added.
Professor Raymond Tanter, of Georgetown University, is an expert on the Islamic Republic, and Chairman of the Washington-based Iran Policy Committee, comprised of former White House, Senate, and intelligence officials. He said it was surprising to see such a revealing announcement on the internet, and stressed that the conference was a part of the "accelerating research and development program of the Iranian regime."
"What is rather odd is that the regime would allow such information to be available on the worldwide web. And it is not surprising that the website of the Imam Hossein University is no longer accessible," Tanter told Ynetnews.
The university has become the center for all of Iran's secret nuclear weapons research programs, Tanter explained, referring to Imam Hussein as the "nuclear weapons university."
"During the 1990s, the Iranian regime anticipated the need to exercise tight control over nuclear weapons research and development in view of growing demands of the international community for inspections," Tanter noted. "Consequently, the regime centralized its diverse centers for nuclear weapons research under a single unit. Tehran transferred all of its covert nuclear programs run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps at nuclear research centers around the country to the Defense Ministry and then to Imam Hossein University of the Revolutionary Guards."
Nuclear Bomb initiator
The analyst affirmed that the announcement on the university's now defunct website shed light on one of Iran's principal means of developing atomic weapons, the laser enrichment technique. "It is of particular importance for the January announcement to mention laser enrichment as a means to create nuclear fuel," Tanter said.
"One of the most critical projects regarding Iran's nuclear weapons research is conducted at the Imam Hossein University on use of lasers to enrich uranium. Dr. Fereydoon Abbassi, one of the (Iranian) Ministry of Defense's laser experts and one of the few Iranians with expertise on isotope separation, directs the laser project at Imam Hossein University ," he added.
"In addition to laser enrichment, Dr. Abbasi ran a neutron generator test at Imam Hossein University… This neutron initiator is the element of a nuclear bomb that triggers the fission chain reaction," Tanter added. "According to information from the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the main Iranian opposition group, Dr. Abbasi is one of the regime's top specialists on the neutron generator. In combination with nuclear fuel and launching systems, neutron generators are the three principal parts of a nuclear bomb."
Responding to the conferences' mention of chemical and biological warfare, Tanter said Iran was also developing research programs on those types of weapons of mass destruction.
"The Imam Hossein University is not only a main center for research on nuclear weapons; it is also a place for research on biological weapons. Imam Hossein University has a biological section that conducts research on microbial bombs. The Iranian regime has spent much time and money at this university on both biological and chemical weapons research," he said, adding: "But nuclear enrichment at Imam Hossein University is the mother of all research at what I would call, 'nuclear weapons university.'"