The Washington Post reports:
Iran has begun production of weaponized anthrax and is actively working with at least five other pathogens, including smallpox, in a drive to build an arsenal of biological weapons, according to an opposition group that previously exposed a secret nuclear enrichment program in the country.The group, Mujaheddin-e Khalq, citing informants inside the Iranian government, says the anthrax weapons are the first fruits of a program begun secretly in 2001 to triple the size of Iran's biowarfare program. The push for new biological weapons was launched in parallel with a more ambitious campaign to build massive nuclear facilities capable of producing components for nuclear bombs, said officials of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the political arm of the Mujaheddin, which seeks the overthrow of the Iranian government."We can say with certainty that the Iranian regime now has the capability of mass production of biological material for weapons use," Alireza Jafarzadeh, the council's U.S. representative, said in an interview.Although many weapons experts believe Iran maintains at least a rudimentary biological weapons program, few details are known. The CIA, in an unclassified report released this year, said Iran "probably" maintains an offensive biological weapons program and likely "has capabilities to produce small quantities" of biological agents.The opposition group's claims, if true, would suggest that Iran's pursuit of biological weapons is more aggressive than previously believed.