Just as the latest International Atomic Energy Agency report increased alarm about Iran’s illicit nuclear program, now comes word that the Islamic regime has created even more secret nuclear sites.
The IAEA report indicated that not only has Iran completed installation of 2,784 centrifuges at Fordow, the previous secret site deep in a mountain believed to be immune to air strikes, but also could within days increase output of highly enriched uranium to the 20-percent level, well on the way to nuclear weapons.
Iran has started to feed uranium hexafluoride gas into four new cascades, increasing the number of centrifuges at Fordow from 700 to 1,400, therefore doubling its output of highly enriched uranium and cutting the time needed for having enough high-enriched material for one nuclear bomb. The regime already has enough low-enriched uranium for six nuclear bombs if further enriched.
However, according to a source within the engineering department of the Revolutionary Guards, the regime is working on its nuclear bomb program from several secret sites unknown to the world.
One such site, the source said, is in the outskirts of the small city of Shahrokhabad in Kerman Province.
Kerman, known for its deposits of copper and coal, also has uranium ore deposits, the source said, and is as high a quality as the deposits at Gachin near the city of Bandar Abbas, which the regime has long used for its yellow cake supply. The regime, with its need for yellow cake, not only has explored various sites within Iran but as far away as Venezuela and Bolivia. Both of those countries have close ties with Iran, and both have vast uranium deposits.
The new site, under the control of the Revolutionary Guards, is code-named “Fateh1.” Fateh in Farsi means victorious. The site’s official name is the Martyred Bahonar Training center, but it is used as a front for regime’s nuclear activity. A six foot wall surrounds the site, on top of it are iron bars and on top of them barbed wires.
According to the source, the uranium ore at the new site is processed into yellow cake then converted to uranium hexafluoride, which is then fed into centrifuges to produce enriched uranium.
It is unclear at this time if the conversion of the yellow cake into uranium hexafluoride is done at the new site or sent to the Isfahan uranium conversion facility, but the source said activities at the site point to underground facilities within the site, covered with dirt or a special rolled asphalt to camouflage its activities from satellites. This is similar to what the regime has done at other sites – enriching uranium at underground facilities.
The source added that the site, surrounded by security towers and barbed wire, is under heavy Revolutionary Guard control, with checks at the entrance and security posts within the facility.
The Guard commander of this operation, according to the source, is Col. Habibollah Sanatgar, who reports directly to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, headed by Fereydon Abbasi, though all coordination is under the supervision of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, the father of Iran’s nuclear bomb program. The source added that another facility not far from the site is involved in plutonium work.
Peter Vincent Pry, formerly with the CIA and now executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, a congressional advisory board, regards the discovery of another Iranian underground nuclear site as ominous.
“Reliable sources in recent months appear to have disclosed two more previously unknown facilities serving Iran’s nuclear program,” Pry said. “Moreover, the sources have provided some credible evidence that at least one of these facilities is actively engaged in nuclear weaponization. If any of these allegations is even partially true, the whole timeline for Iran developing a nuclear weapon must be recalculated. The advent of a nuclear-armed Iran is much nearer than assumed by the Obama administration.”
Pry warned that the United States cannot afford to let Iran, the leading sponsor of international terrorism, develop even a single nuclear weapon.
“The congressional EMP Commission warned that Iran could launch a nuclear-armed short-range missile off a ship to inflict an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) catastrophe on the United States using just a single warhead,” Pry cautioned. “The EMP attack would collapse the national electric grid and all the critical infrastructures that support modern civilization and the lives of 300 million Americans. Iran has practiced making exactly such a ship-launched EMP attack and has openly written about making an EMP attack to eliminate the United States.”
Exclusive reports by WND on Oct. 8 and Nov. 1 revealed that Iran is operating another nuclear site at which scientists are testing a neutron detonator and implosion system for a nuclear bomb as well as on a nuclear warhead design and enrichment to weaponization levels.
The 5+1 group has requested new talks with Iran over the nuclear impasse. The Islamic regime has hinted about freezing nuclear enrichment to the 20-percent level in exchange for removal of all sanctions, guarantees on providing the country with high-enriched uranium and acceptance of the regime’s full rights to nuclear energy. Such a deal would allow the country’s thousands of centrifuges to continue to enrich to the 5-percent level.
Regardless of the outcome of any further negotiations, the source said, the Islamic regime, with work at many secret sites, is very close to obtaining the bomb.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and author of the award winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).