Almost two weeks after reports emerged about an explosion in the underground uranium enrichment facility in Fordow Iran, it remains unclear what exactly happened.
After the IAEA released a statement expressing understanding for Iran’s denial of the event, ISIS last week recent released satellite images of Fordow that seem to support Iran’s claim that nothing happened.
The imagery show no exterior signs of an explosion or major damage, according to ISIS.
However, Iran expert Michael Ledeen, when interviewed on radio last week, came with new information about the reported blast.
Ledeen said that the event took place in a new secret facility near Fordow. He reported that there was an explosion in a gas line that led to the new secret facility. The blast caused a lot of destruction and led the authorities to stop in traffic in the Fordow area for some time.
Ledeen also explained why the IAEA and others had come to the conclusion that there was no explosion at Fordow.
He said that the IAEA knows nothing about what happens in Fordow and that their observations are nil.
Indeed, satellite images from the entrance of Fordow will not show underground destruction.
According to Ledeen, the United States, UN and others do not want to hear about a new secret facility at this point of time because that would upset upcoming talks with Iran.
He said he got his information from sources in Iran. Others (like World Net Daily) received it from sources in Germany.
In the mean time Iran announced to the IAEA that it has developed a new type of centrifuge that will significantly speed up uranium enrichment . The brief note quoted Iran as saying new-generation IR2m “centrifuge machines …will be used” to populate a new “unit” — a technical term for an assembly that can consist of as many as 3,132 centrifuges.
Iran did not elaborate about the new unit but experts have pointed out that the new program will be a game changer.
“If thousands of the more efficient machines are introduced, the timeline for being able to produce a weapon’s worth of fissile material will significantly shorten,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, a nuclear expert of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
“This won’t change the several months it would take to make actual weapons out of the fissile material or the two years or more that it would take to be able to mount a nuclear warhead on a missile, so there is no need to start beating the war drums,” he said. “But it will certainly escalate concerns.”
Could it be that the new unit announced by Iran is the same as the one Michael Ledeen mentioned?