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Iran 'rushing to build nuke bomb'

From National Security Correspondent David Ensor
The Natanz facility is shown in this commercial satellite image.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Nuclear Policies
Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- An Iranian opposition group with sources inside Iran's military is making public a list of the senior military personnel and military units it says are involved in Iran's secret nuclear weapons programs.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) says in a summary of its findings that Iran is rushing to complete a first nuclear bomb in "between one and two years."

The opposition group says the nuclear weapons effort by a special military unit functioning secretly outside the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization is under the personal supervision of the Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's supreme ruler.

In a recent report, the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency said parts of Iran's nuclear program are under military control.

The Iranian government denies ever having a nuclear weapons program and says its facilities and programs are used only for the generation of electricity.

The Iranian opposition group's summary says the view of Iran's government is that "because of its problems in Iraq, the United States has no choice but to go soft on Iran."

The NCRI was the first to make public Iran's secret nuclear weapons research activities at sites in Natanz and Arak. The IAEA subsequently confirmed them.

The group, also known as the People's Mujahedeen of Iran, has been put on the U.S. State Department list of terrorist organizations because it is accused of violence against civilians in Iran, a charge NCRI leaders reject.

The group plans a news conference to make public its findings in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday.

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