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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

So you still don't believe there was an explosion at Fordow....

Over the last few days, I've heard a lot of skepticism over the claim that an explosion seriously damaged the Fordow uranium enrichment plant last week. I've heard that WND (World Net Daily) isn't reliable, that Reza Khalili is not and never was a CIA agent, and other such claims.

So here are two sources that many of you might consider more reliable who are advancing the same claim. One is Michael Ledeen, an expert on Iran who writes for PJ Media and other sites.
Confirmation has been dribbling in, mostly from the German press.  I’m told that there was indeed an explosion, which took place in a gas line that was being run to a new part of the Fordo facility, deep underground.  I don’t know if it was sabotage or an accident, but eyewitnesses talk about a monster blast, and it does indeed appear that lots of workers are trapped.
There are lots of explosions in Iran’s pipelines, and at the country’s refineries, as I’ve pointed out several times.  Both petroleum and natural gas pipelines are blown up regularly, and the biggest refineries are often out of commission.
This is different;  the regime dearly wants to craft atomic bombs, and the new Fordo facility, cleverly concealed from IAEA inspectors, would have added to their capacity, and, as long as it remained secret, would have enabled them to work away from the snoopers.  Now, not only is the new facility exposed, but it, and the surrounding operations, are severely damaged.
UPDATE:  Still too early to know all the details, but it seems the gas line was being run to a facility separate from the formerly-secret-but-now-well-known site.  So while the new, very deep underground, project was blown up, the older one is intact.
The second source is Dr. Ali Reza Nourizadeh, an Iranian, who is a senior researcher and director at the Institute for Arab and Iranian Studies in London.
Nourizadeh, who is a commentator for Deutsche Welle and the Voice of America and has an extensive network of contacts in Iran, told us that the explosion has caused relative little damage to the uranium enrichment facility itself but that the blast has blocked the entrance to Fordow.  He confirmed that more than 200 personnel are trapped in the plant and that there is a unknown number of casualties.
He said that since the blast the city of Qom, where Fordow is located, has been encircled by forces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.  He also reported that today the regime arrested between eight and twelve Iranian journalists who where accused of collaborating with  foreign media. Nourizadeh said that local journalists have been responsible for leaking information about the incident in Fordow. Their computers and other equipment has been confiscated.
Meanwhile, Reza Khalili has an update
Sixteen North Koreans, including 14 technicians and two top military officers, are among those trapped after a Jan. 21 explosion destroyed much of Iran’s Fordow nuclear site, a source reveals.
The source who provided the initial information on the explosion at Fordow has now provided details of the explosion and the degree of the destruction at one of Iran’s most important nuclear sites.
The report, published exclusively on WND on Jan. 24, is being covered internationally by major media, with independent intelligence sources confirming the explosion for the Times of London and the German Die Welt.

But White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Monday: “We have no information to confirm the allegations in the report and we do not believe the report is credible.”


Iranian authorities fear that opening the site from the outside in a rescue mission could possibly release radiation and uranium gas or cause further explosions, which could contaminate thousands of people living nearby, the source said.
As of Monday, the regime had not come up with any concrete rescue plan, though more than 200 people remain trapped, including the North Koreans, he said. He added that an agreement reached last September between North Korea and Iran called for further collaboration on Iran’s nuclear bomb project and the arming of missiles with nuclear warheads.
Another source in the Intelligence Ministry said that in a meeting Monday among top officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it was decided that the international community would be kept in the dark about the disaster because any validation would undermine their current negotiating power with the 5+1 world powers.
It would also undermine the regime from within should Iranians react to its illicit nuclear activity and the international sanctions it caused, which are being felt deeply.
The source added that the regime is contemplating showing old images of the interior of the site to buy time until it can accurately estimate the extent of damage and possible loss of lives.
Ahmadinejad will hold a parliamentary meeting behind closed doors on this issue on Thursday.
Read the whole thing.

The bottom line is that they give a minute by minute breakdown of what happened when, and it really does sound believable. How much damage it has actually done remains to be seen. Hmmm. Or should I say Heh?

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At 2:02 AM, Blogger HaDaR said...


In unusual move, International Atomic Energy Agency says in response to question it has no sign of any explosion at one of Iran's most sensitive nuclear plants


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