A team of North Korean nuclear warhead and ballistic missile experts visited a military site in Iran at the end of April, just three weeks after President Barack Obama’s historic announcement of a framework agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, an Iranian dissident group said Thursday.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran said a seven-member team from North Korea’s defense ministry traveled to Iran for the last week of April and that it was the third time they visited Iran this year.
"The delegates included nuclear experts, nuclear warhead experts and experts in various elements of ballistic missiles including guidance systems," the NCRI said, according to Reuters.
A general view of a heavy water plant in Arak, Iran, August 26, 2006. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)
The NCRI said it obtained the information on the North Koreans from sources in Iran, including from those inside the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.
"Tehran has shown no interest in giving up its drive to nuclear weapons," NCRI spokesman Shahin Gobadi said.
The NCRI said the North Korean delegation was taken secretly to the Imam Khomenei complex, a site controlled by the Defense Ministry, east of Tehran. It gave detailed accounts of locations and who the officials met.
It said the delegation dealt with the Center for Research and Design of New Aerospace Technology, a unit of nuclear weaponization research and planning center called the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND), which is under United States sanctions. NCRI said the unit researches and manufactures interior parts of nuclear warheads.
Iranian officials and the International Atomic Energy Agency declined to comment to Reuters about the allegations.
Reuters noted that while the opposition group is credited with exposing Iran’s once clandestine uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and heavy water plant at Arak, “analysts say it has a mixed track record and a clear political agenda.”
The U.S. and five world powers are racing to meet a June 30 deadline to reach a comprehensive deal over Iran’s nuclear program. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to meet Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Saturday.