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Iran to Announce Progress at Fordow Nuclear Site

The delayed announcement is expected soon.

by
Reza Kahlili

Bio

February 21, 2012 - 6:01 am

According to a report by the Iranian state media outlet (IranNuc.ir), there will be a release of important news on the progress of nuclear enrichment at the Fordow facility soon.

The report states:

The West is still in shock from the recent announcement by the Iranian officials on the nuclear front, but officials indicate that soon the West will receive a bigger blow.

On February 15, Iranian officials announced a series of nuclear achievements: loading the Tehran reactor with domestic nuclear fuel plates; an increase of 3000 centrifuges at the Natanz facility; and the installation of a new generation of centrifuges at Natanz which can increase the production of enriched uranium by 50 percent.

Although the announcement that the official start of the full enrichment at the Fordow facility was expected last Wednesday, that announcement was delayed to a later date.

However, it seems now the announcement is close, and Iranian experts believe that if the announcement is made prior to the upcoming round of talks it could have a significant effect on the negotiations.

The report states that one diplomat claimed the reason for not announcing the official operation at Fordow was to keep the West in suspense in expectation of another surprise.

The report states that two batches of 174 centrifuges each are enriching uranium at a 20 percent level at the Fordow. The facility, which can house 3000 centrifuges, is built deep into a mountain on a Revolutionary Guards’ base near the city of Qom. It is believed that the site cannot be destroyed with the current bunker-buster bombs kept in the U.S. military’s arsenal.

Israel has warned that the relocation of the 20 percent enrichment stock from Natanz to the Fordow facility, along with the new facility enriching uranium to 20 percent, could be defined as the “Zone of Immunity”: this implies that Iran’s nuclear program would become immune to any attack, and Iran could enrich further to weaponization grade within weeks.

Iran currently has enough enriched uranium for six nuclear bombs, and continues its illicit nuclear activities despite the four different sets of UN sanctions already in place.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award winning book, A Time to Betray. He is a senior Fellow with EMPact America and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).
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