IAEA cameras in Iranian uranium enrichment facility 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A report claiming that a mysterious blast rocked the Fordow uranium enrichment
facility in Iran last week made headlines in Israel on Sunday, but remained
According to the report, penned by former Iranian
Revolutionary Guard, Reza Kahlili, for the WND.com website, the explosion
“destroyed much of the installation and trapped about 240 personnel deep
Kahlili, who says he turned CIA agent in the 1980s and 90s,
cited a “source in the security forces protecting Fordow” as saying that the
blast occurred last Monday at Fordow, which is located deep inside a mountain to
protect it from aerial attack.
“The blast shook facilities within a
radius of three miles. Security forces have enforced a no-traffic radius of 15
miles, and the Tehran- Qom highway was shut down for several hours after the
blast,” the report added.
The existence of the Fordow enrichment plant
was kept secret by Iran, until it was discovered by Western intelligence in
2009, and the question of how long it had been in operation remains
Emily Landau, director of the Arms Control and Regional
Security Project at the Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies,
noted on Sunday that Iran is enriching uranium to 20 percent at Fordow, “and it
raises concerns because it is buried deep in a mountain.”
“There have been many references to the fact that Israel doesn’t have strong
enough bombs to penetrate it from the air, but the US MOP [massive ordnance
penetrator] is reported to be able to penetrate it.”
Landau added that
reports surfaced six months ago saying that the MOP is operational.
shutting down of Fordow is one of the three demands made on Iran by the P5+1
nations during talks with the Islamic Republic.
According to a 2011 IAEA
report, Iran is testing detonators for nuclear blasts at its secret base in
Parchin, and has refused to allow UN inspectors access to the site.