Following are excerpts from an interview with Amir Hossein Shirani, an employee at a secret Iranian nuclear plant, who was abducted by the Sunni Baluchi opposition group Jundallah. The interview aired on Al-Arabiya TV on November 27, 2010.
Amir Hossein Shirani: In the name of God the Merciful the Compassionate, my name is Amir Hossein Shirani, son of Mohammad. My ID number is 2428, and I was born in 1971. I have a bachelor's degree.
Thanks to a relative of mine, engineer Ahmad Soltani, who directed a secret nuclear facility, I worked there for three years. While I was working there, I noticed that this facility was used for uranium enrichment, needed for the building of a nuclear weapon. The facility was kept secret from all the security agencies.
Interviewer: What topics were discussed at meetings in this facility?
Amir Hossein Shirani: In this secret facility, meetings were held, and I participated in many of them due to my relation to engineer Soltani. At these meetings, Mr. Soltani and other engineers would say that since our enemies, like America and Israel, have atomic weapons – atomic bombs – we too must obtain such a bomb, and that since our neighboring country Pakistan has obtained such a weapon, we too must obtain it. They said that our status must not be inferior to that of Pakistan.
Interviewer: What people were in charge of this facility? Can you name them?
Amir Hossein Shirani: The names of the engineers and the heads of the facility are, for example, engineer Aghazadeh, a.k.a. Hajji, who was general supervisor and inspector of all the workshops. He would travel once a week from Tehran to Esfahan to conduct the inspection.
Engineer Ahmad Soltani, who lives on Upper Charbagh Street in Esfahan, was the head of the workshop in which I used to work.
Engineer Reza Pasandi, one of the engineers and Soltani's advisors, lives on Charbagh Street, in Esfahan.
Engineer Ali Farahamnd, one of Soltani's advisors and experts, lives on Khadjou Street in Esfahan.
Engineer Mohammad Tavakkoli lives in Darvazeh Shiraz in Esfahan.
Engineer Ghanbarian and engineer Ghassemi, who are among the experts in the facility, live in an apartment building on Abbasabbad Street in Esfahan.
Engineer Adeli lives in Shahin Shahr north-east of Esfahan.
Interviewer: How many people work in this facility?
Amir Hossein Shirani: There are three shifts a day, and fifty people work in each shift. They work around the clock, enriching uranium.
Interveiwer: What is the exact address of this facility?
Amir Hossein Shirani: It is 15 km south-east of Esfahan, opposite a village called Baran Shomali.
Interveiwer: What institutions would send people to monitor this facility?
Amir Hossein Shirani: People would come from various institutions, such as the Leader's office, from the President's office, the Intelligence Ministry, and the IRGC.
Interviewer: They say that they do not want to manufacture nuclear weapons, but use it only for agricultural, medical, and industrial purposes. Can you confirm the claims of Iran?
Amir Hossein Shirani: No, during the time that I was working at this facility, such peaceful purposes were not discussed in the meetings and were not evident. All they did was to enrich uranium night and day, in an effort to obtain a nuclear bomb, in order to threaten the Arab countries and the world.