Reza Kahlili, author of the award-winning book "A Time to Betray," served in CIA Directorate of Operations, as a spy in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, counterterrorism expert; currently serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, an advisory board to Congress and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI). He regularly appears in national and international media as an expert on Iran and counterterrorism inMore ↓Less ↑
Early nuclear explosion on Bikini Atoll
Iran successfully has built a nuclear bomb with the help of Russia and North Korea and has enough weapons-grade uranium and plutonium for more, according to a source in the Revolutionary Guards intelligence unit.
The source, who has access to Iran’s nuclear program, said the Islamic regime is working out of seven nuclear sites, most unknown to the IAEA, and that its nuclear bomb program is complete.
North Korea has provided the regime with plutonium for nuclear warheads, the source verified, and the last obstacle to overcome is arming missiles with those warheads.
The source, who revealed the existence of the regime’s microbial plant and its effort on biological weapons as published on Jan. 1 by WND exclusively, now has provided information on two of the seven secret sites.
The first is in the town of Khondab near the city of Arak in central Iran where Iran’s heavy-water plant reactor is located, which, once operational, will provide enough plutonium for several bombs just in its first year. WND will soon publish information on the second secret nuclear site, which has direct Russian participation involving laser technology for uranium enrichment.
The Khondab site, according to the source, expands on the activity at Iran’s previously secret site in Fordo, about 80 miles away. When the existence of Fordo was revealed in September 2009, much of the nuclear bomb research and equipment was later transferred to Khondab.
Google Earth - FEB 2009 - Initial start of the work at Khondab
The new site, in the belly of a mountain, is immune to airstrikes. It has three levels accessible by three elevators. The first level is security, where personnel check in, cell phones, arms and other items are confiscated, IDs are checked and passage allowed. The second level houses the centrifuges and the third level the lab, where work is ongoing on both uranium and plutonium bombs.
The uranium enrichment on the second level is in two phases: The first phase has eight cascades of centrifuges into which uranium hexafluoride gas has been fed for enrichment; the second phase has 12 cascades with six already operational and six more being readied.
The planning of the site was approved under former president Mohammad Khatami, but the project was approved by the current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and completed over two years ago.
Several high-power towers, visible in images, have been installed near the site to provide much-needed electricity for the centrifuges. The electricity flows only to the bottom of the mountain, where entrances have been dug out.
DigitalGlobe SEPT 2012 - All high power towers installed since work on Khondab - Several marked
DigitalGlobe SEPT 2012 - Power polls extend only to the bottom of the mountain where entrances are
“The imagery clearly shows some kind of highly sensitive and fortified installation supporting a deep underground facility inside the mountain,” stated Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, a former CIA analyst and executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, an advisory board to Congress.
“The exterior facility has a huge security gate and guard post, the entire installation is surrounded by miles of deep trench and berm, like a medieval fortress, with modern security fences and guard posts.
DigitalGlobe SEPT 2012 - Security parameter of the site as marked
“And there are clearly two enormous underground entrances surmounted by a building that may power elevator shafts, escalators or a subway to the underground complex inside the mountain,” he said.
DigitalGlobe SEPT 2012 - Underground entrances & Air vents on top of the mountain
Of particular interest, Pry said, are the high-tension power lines at the facility.
“Whatever is going on inside needs a lot of electricity. Chemical and biological weapons programs have very modest power needs, compared to nuclear weapons programs, which consume enormous amounts of electricity.”
Pry said that Russia, China and North Korea are helping Iran’s nuclear and missile programs and that it is probably no accident that Iran’s underground facilities closely resemble those countries’ setups, which were intended to deceive the West during and after the Cold War.
“The discovery of previously unknown underground facilities of such size and potential significance in Iran is further proof that the U.S. is probably underestimating the advancement and sophistication of Iran’s nuclear weapons program,” Pry said. “The present policy of negotiation until Iran is caught red-handed moving toward nuclear weaponization is a policy doomed to fail – probably already has failed inside one of Iran’s underground nuclear installations.”
The site is supervised by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, the father of Iran’s nuclear bomb program. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative, former defense minister Ali Shamkhani, routinely visits the site.
There are 60 personnel working at this site, with four Russian and three North Korean scientists helping the Iranian scientists.
Iranian scientists Massoud Ali Mohammadi and Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, who worked on this Khondab project, were assassinated, Mohammadi in 2010 and Roshan last year.
Because of those assassinations, Khamenei has ordered the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security to keep a close eye on all employees at various sites and monitor their movement and communications.
Two missile sites in the vicinity of this nuclear site are hidden underground to protect the site from an airstrike.
Currently more than 2,000 centrifuges are enriching uranium at this facility, with more to be operative shortly.
With the failure in three rounds of talks since last April between the world powers 5+1 and Iran over its illicit nuclear program and the regime’s defiance in stopping its enrichment and preventing the International Atomic Energy Agency from inspecting suspect sites, the West is running out of options, the source added.
He said the regime believes that ultimately America will have no choice but to accept a nuclear-armed Iran.
WND last October revealed that regime scientists at another secret site were working on a neutron detonator for a nuclear weapon and warhead design for ballistic missiles.
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).