Iran is producing chemical weapons, including sarin gas, out of a facility in Fars Province. Sarin gas, banned under international protocol, is the gas Syria’s Assad regime used to kill more than 1,400 civilians on Aug. 21.
A Revolutionary Guards base, Shahid Dastgheyb, is producing five deadly gases, under the project name of “Baasat,” as part of the Islamic regime’s chemical weapons program, according to intelligence received from a member of the Guards serving in the province. The source is not named due to security reasons.
The chemical plant is outside the central city of Shiraz and close to the town of Bajgah, built in the belly of a mountain. This strategic facility is close to the Guards’ naval base of Ahmad Ibn Mousa, which on the surface is in charge of training Guards’ naval personnel but in fact transfers the chemical weapons to depots and other facilities across Iran.
At this facility, the regime produces five gases: sarin, phosphor chlorine, phosgene oxcime or CX (a potent gas with immediate effects on the skin and respiratory organs), mustard and nitrogen mustard.
The Guards are also producing a sodium cyanide bomb and three means of delivery: artillery shells, cluster bombs and warheads on its medium-range ballistic missiles. Cynaide bombs could kill thousands and could be a deadly tool for terrorists.
The mountain’s chemical facility has three entrances to the two levels with a depth of over 70 feet. There are 58 personnel, both security and operational, and at least 13 Iranian scientists from the regime’s Malek Ashtar University (this university is on an EU sanctions list for activities related to Iran’s nuclear development program) and three Pakistani scientists.
One of those scientists has been working for years under the name of Jamal Ashtari on chemical weapons. He resides in the development of Akbar Abad in Shiraz. His security is provided by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.
Despite several United Nations resolutions and sanctions by the UN, United States and European Union demanding a halt to Iran’s illicit nuclear program, the Islamic regime has significantly expanded the program and currently has over 10,000 centrifuges spinning, with enough enriched uranium for more than six nuclear bombs. At the same time it is set to complete its heavy-water plant, which would give the regime a second path to nuclear weapons by acquiring weapons-grade plutonium.
A commentary published in the Revolutionary Guards’ media outlet last year indicated that the Islamic regime not only has WMDs but has armed its terrorist proxies with them. It warned Israel that if the fighting in Syria did not stop, an all-out attack on the Jewish state would be launched and that at zero hour, Tel Aviv would be the first city to be destroyed.
The commentary specifically stated, “Groups armed with weapons of mass destruction (chemical, microbial and nuclear bombs), which have been obtained on the black market, will surely target Tel Aviv.” Iran’s close ally, Syria’s Assad regime, earlier had denied having such chemical weapons but last week provided a list of its weapons of mass destruction as mandated in the agreement between the United States and Russia.
A UN report last week confirmed the use of chemical weapons in Syria that killed more than 1,400 people, hundreds of them children.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray“ (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).