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'Blast in Iran struck uranium enrichment facility'

ByJPOST.COM STAFF,
November 30, 2011 12:30

Satellite imagery confirms Isfahan facility rocked by blast was a nuclear facility, 'The Times' reports, citing Israeli intel officials.

Isfahan uranium enrichment facility, Iran

Isfahan uranium enrichment facility, Iran_311. (photo credit:Reuters)

Satellite imagery "clearly showing billowing smoke and destruction" has proven that an explosion Monday damaged a nuclear facility in the Iranian city of Ifsahan, according to a Wednesday Times of London report .

The report quoted Israeli intelligence officials as saying that there was "no doubt" that the blast damaged a uranium enrichment site, and asserted that it was "no accident."



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Officials from Isfahan have been denying that the city had been hit by an explosion.

Mohammad-Mahdi Esma'ili, Isfahan's deputy governor in political and security affairs, called the reports "sheer lies" according to the IRNA news agency. An official from the city's fire department also denied that there had been an explosion.

The mysterious explosion Monday rocked the Iranian city of Isfahan, which hosts a nuclear facility involved in processing uranium fed to the Natanz fuel enrichment facility.

The source and target of the explosion were initially unclear. Some reports claimed it took place in a military base and others said it was a gas explosion.

Two weeks ago, on November 12, an explosion hit an Iranian military base near the town of Bid Kaneh, killing 17 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and Maj.-Gen. Hassan Moghaddam, chief architect of the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program. Israel’s Mossad has been accused of orchestrating the blast.

Head of the Military Intelligence Research Directorate Brig.-Gen. Itay Brun told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday that the November 12 blast at the missile base could delay Tehran’s development of long-range missiles.

“The explosion at the site to develop surface-to-surface missiles could stop or delay activities on that track and in that location, but we must emphasize that Iran has other development tracks in addition to that facility,” Brun said.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

Reuters contributed to the report.
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