According to Mehr News Agency, sources within Iran revealed that there will be an announcement in a few days that the previously secret nuclear site, the Fordow nuclear enrichment facility, is now fully operational and enriching uranium at a 20% level.
The world learned about the existence of this site in 2009 when the Iranians disclosed it to the IAEA right before President Obama, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom, and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France made statements at the G-20 summit in Pittsburg that referenced the secret Iranian site.
The site is built deep into a mountain on a Revolutionary Guards’ base near the city of Qom.
The Iranian leaders had intended to transfer much of their low-enriched uranium stock from Natanz to Fordow and to start the process of enrichment at a much higher level with protection against any attack.
It is reported that the site cannot be destroyed even with the current bunker-buster bombs kept in the U.S. military’s arsenal.
It should be noted that the Fordow facility can only house 3,000 centrifuges, and is therefore useless for providing fuel for a nuclear power plant. The only purpose is for clandestine use or for making a nuclear bomb. It is also important to note that enriching uranium to the 20% level is 9/10 of the way to weaponization.
Iran currently has enough enriched uranium for six nuclear bombs and continues its illicit nuclear activities despite four different sets of UN sanctions already in place.
On Saturday, marking the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised to announce important news within days on the Iranian nuclear program. At the same time, the Iranian foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, stated that Iran is ready for the worst-case scenario in its confrontation with the West over its nuclear program.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, during his recent Friday prayer sermon, called Israel “a cancerous tumor that should and will be cut,” and warned the U.S. that any aggression will result in a response ten times greater on America.
As reported recently, the Iranians not only have received intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) technology from China and are working with North Korea on assembling the missiles, but they also have succeeded in completing the component for a nuclear bomb trigger, overcoming a major obstacle in obtaining the bomb.
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).