UPDATED January 30th 10.00 AM
UN body backs Iran’s denial of blast in Fordow.
YNet in Israel reported that the UN nuclear watchdog IAEA backs Iran’s denial of the reported explosion in Fordow. Here is the IAEA statement:
“We understand that Iran has denied that there has been an incident at Fordo. This is consistent with our observations,” IAEA spokeswoman Gill Tudor said in an emailed comment in response to a question.
It remains unclear if IAEA inspectors visited Fordow after the reported blast.
On Tuesday World Net Daily published more details about what exactly happened in the underground uranium enrichment plant in Fordow Iran on Monday January 21 2013.
According WND’s source, a member of the security forces protecting Fordow, 36 North Korean technicians and military officers arrived in Tehran Jan. 15 and 17 and subsequently visited two Iranian nuclear sites under heavy security. One site, still unknown to the West with its vast installation of centrifuges, will be revealed soon by WND. At the other, the Fordow site, the North Koreans were to witness the start-up of six cascades of 174 new-generation, speedier centrifuges.
Hamidreza Zakeri, a former member of the regime’s Intelligence Ministry, said 17 technicians and two military supervisors are stationed at the secret site, and 14 technicians and two military officers were at Fordow.
The source said a log on closed-circuit cameras installed by the regime to monitor the site’s three centrifuge chambers and two highly enriched uranium reserves gave this account:
- On Jan 21, 14 members of the North Korean team and two military officers now stationed at Fordow along with Iranian scientists started the process of feeding uranium gas into the newly set-up cascades at 9:15 a.m. Tehran time
- At 10:43 a.m., due to a drop in power pressure, system warning signs went off, but everything went back to normal after two minutes.
- At 11:36 a.m., five explosions occurred concurrently in the centrifuge chambers, two explosions in the uranium reserve enclosures and a subsequent explosion in the main hallway close to the exit.
- At the time of the explosions, a very bright red and purple light distorted the image and an extremely loud noise could be heard. Before the explosions knocked out the cameras, interior walls could be seen coming down within the centrifuge chambers. All the explosions seemed to have been initiated from the ceilings.
- All cameras on the lowest floor (about 300 feet deep under a mountain) and the floor above it (about 250 feet deep) were knocked out, and only two cameras above the installation where security personnel are stationed were working.
- Security forces immediately informed their superiors, who ordered them to remain in the monitoring room and avoid further communication with the outside world until counterintelligence forces arrived. Twenty-one personnel were gathered in a conference room to await further instruction.
- Security forces were then told to close down all surrounding roads.
- Approximately two hours after the explosions, counterintelligence agents arrived and, after interviewing personnel and reviewing tapes, initially concluded that explosives may have been placed in ceiling lamps with some kind of trigger mechanism controlled by a power voltage frequency.
- The last images show eight personnel in anti-radiation clothing trying desperately to secure one of the rooms.
The regime believes the technology used with the explosives is unknown to their forces, the source said.
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.
Michael Ledeen an Iran expert writing for Pajamas Media added the following details to the Reza Kahlili‘s WND report:
As my friend Reza Kahlili reports, a few days ago there was an explosion at the Iranian nuclear facility at Fordo, near the holy city of Qom. 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.
We received information that more info about the Fordow blast will be coming out today or tomorrow