Although it has not yet been verified, a report by Iranian dissident-turned CIA
operative Reza Kahlili, which said a massive blast rocked Iran’s key Fordow
nuclear installation last week, continued to spread on Monday.
Atomic Energy Organization dismissed the claim as “Western propaganda,” while
The Sunday Times cited Israeli intelligence figures as confirming the
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Monday, Kahlili expressed
confidence that the alleged blast will receive “further coverage in the US,” and
that “more information” will become available to verify the
“It’s the largest case of sabotage in decades,” Kahlili said.
“This is the center of the Iranian nuclear program. It is essential for the
regime, its activities and its nuclear program. If such a blow was given to
Fordow, it definitely harms [Iran] drastically.
They were reaching for 20
percent uranium enrichment and were increasing output,” he
Situated near the holy Shi’ite city of Qom, the existence of the
Fordow enrichment plant, dug deep into a mountain, 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 unanswered.
Kahlili, a pseudonym used to
protect him from the Iranian regime, published A Time To Betray in 2010, in
which he described a journey which took him from the Islamic Revolutionary
Guards Corps (IRGC) to being a CIA agent in the 1980s.
He now resides in
California, and says he is in touch with a number of insiders in the Iranian
intelligence and security communities, as well as the office of Iran’s supreme
Asked why satellite imagery was not being released of rescue
efforts at Fordow, Kahlili said only state intelligence agencies have access to live satellite feeds.
“Why don’t they put it out? My only
assumption is that no one wants to take credit because of what the consequences
could be by the regime,” he told the Post. “This is a very sensitive time. I’m
sure that soon, very soon, more information will leak out. Chatter will get loud
enough to provide further information.”
Kahlili went on to say that
within the Islamic Republic the “first suspicion is Israel.”
verified information that there was a meeting [called by Iran’s Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei. A decision was made to act in Lebanon. A request was
made to [Hezbollah chief Hassan] Nasrallah to vacate southern Lebanese
Islamic Republic guards are on their way there. A decision has
been made to prepare for missile launch from a certain area in Lebanon against
Israel,” he said.
Kahlili said one of the sources who initially leaked
information of the blast came from within the security forces guarding Fordow,
adding that precise information of the attack was not being released in order to
protect the source.
“The source has been collaborating for a long time,”
A second source came from the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, he
said, adding that it was very difficult to safely get information out of
Iranian authorities have not yet made any progress in their attempt
to enter Fordow, Kahlili asserted, adding, “I fear there is radiation
Iran’s Defense Ministry dispatched drilling vehicles, “the
same they used to carve tunnels and create underground facilities, to see if
they can make any headway in opening emergency exits, because they
Among those stuck in the facility are dozens of foreign
nationals. These are contracted scientists,” he said.
Kahlili said a
second mysterious blast occurred in Tehran last week, at an IRGC base called “21
“There are injuries, and there have been arrests of IRGC members
who are being questioned. The Intelligence Ministry suspects sabotage,” he
Meanwhile, the White House on Monday threw cold water on reports
of an explosion at Fordow.
“We don’t believe those are credible reports,”
White House spokesman Jay Carney said in response to questions on the subject
from reporters. “We have no information that would confirm them.”
also expressed frustration that Iran has not agreed to a new round of talks with
the P5+1 world powers in Istanbul at the end of January, despite the world
power’s having “shown flexibility” in the time and place of its
“Iran, not for the first time, has been continuing putting forward
new conditions as a delaying tactic, and negotiations about negotiations is a
familiar tactic that only results in further isolation and more pressure on
Iran, so it will not achieve anything,” Carney declared.
however, that contact on talks is continuing and new dates in February have been
offered to the Iranians.
Hilary Leila Krieger contributed to this article