We report the realization of a tunable sub-Doppler heterodyne spectrometer with high absolute accuracy, employing side-band generation with a CO laser. The fixed-frequency CO-gas laser, working from 4.7 to 8.4µm, is made partially tunable by the use of microwave side-band generation in a CdTe Electro-Optical Modulator (EOM). This leads to tunable radiation of high spectral purity. We describe the design of the microwave EOM, adapted to the CO laser, its performance and its first application to highly accurate frequency measurements. The side-band radiation is used for sub-Doppler stabilization of the CO laser, while the carrier frequency is mixed with the frequencies of two CO2 reference lasers. As a first result, we present measurements of OCS transitions in the 4.9µm (61 THz) region, reaching an absolute accuracy of 30 kHz (Δν/ν = 5×1O−10). Further application of our spectrometer to calibration gases will establish a variety of InfraRed (IR) calibration standards with a new quality of accuracy.