New nuclear site in Iran discovered
Quds secret Iranian nuclear development facility
Reza Kahlili has disclosed in a new report the existence of a massive underground nuclear development facility located 15 miles northwest of Fordow near Qom. Kahlili had previously disclosed that the Fordow facility may have been disabled in an alleged January 21st blast with casualties of Iranian and North Korean scientists. This new underground nuclear complex is surrounded by a large quantity of Shahab 3 missiles in reinforced silos and may contain sufficient stockpiles of enriched fissile uranium and plutonium for possible assembly of nuclear devices. Moreover, in addition to advanced enrichment facilities, there are allegations that a separate facility is engaged in development of nuclear warheads for intercontinental ballistic missiles. From satellite photos the Quds secret facility appears to be under military control.
Watch this impressive You Tube video illustrating this newly identified Quds Iranian nuclear facility:
In a Washington Times report, Kahlili notes the overarching significance of the Quds site:
Images of a secret nuclear site known as Quds and recently revealed details of its operation clearly show the regime has crossed the nuclear red line. In collaboration with North Korea, it is now steps away from arming its missiles with nuclear warheads.
According to information from a high-ranking intelligence officer assigned to the Ministry of Defense, the regime’s scientists have made a significant breakthrough in not only enriching to weapons grade, but have converted the highly enriched uranium into metal, a key step in building nuclear warheads. Moreover, successfully using the metal in making a neutron reflector indicates the final stages for a nuclear-weapons design that would be a two-stage, more sophisticated and much more powerful nuclear bomb.
Regime scientists are also working on a plutonium bomb, and they have at the Quds site 24 kilograms (about 53 lbs.) of plutonium, sufficient for several atomic bombs. The scientists are in the last stage of putting together a nuclear warhead, and are using polonium and beryllium, which would serve as the trigger and the tamper, respectively, for the bomb.
The site, which is almost 15 miles from the Fordow nuclear facility, has a capacity for 8,000 centrifuges and currently has three operational chambers with 19 cascades of 170 to 174 centrifuges enriching uranium. As of three months ago, there were 76 kilograms (about 167 lbs.) of 20 percent and 48 kilograms (about 105 lbs.) of more than 40 percent enriched uranium stock at the site.
This secret site consists of two facilities built deep in a mountain and a missile facility that has been equipped with more than 380 missile depots and launching pads. The facility can house large intercontinental ballistic missiles, most likely the Shahab 3 and, possibly, the North Korean Taepodong II.
US experts commented on the significance on these latest revelations by Kahlili:
Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, reviewed the imagery and human intelligence and called for a congressional hearing.
“The newly discovered underground complex looks like the kind of enormous complexes built by the USSR during the Cold War and by Russia today,” Mr. Pry said. “The imagery suggests a top-priority military site.”
One can infer from the descriptions, some design characteristics of parts for making implosion plutonium weapons and two-stage atomic weapons,” Mr. Pry said. “The latter is a design far more sophisticated than the Hiroshima bomb that could have a much higher yield and possibly produce an explosion 50 times greater than Hiroshima.
Fritz Ermarth, who served in the CIA and as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, reviewed the imagery. “[T]his imagery strongly suggests that Iran is working on what we used to call an ‘objective force.’ That is the objective of a deployed force of nuclear weapons on mobile missiles, normally based in deep underground sites for survivability against even nuclear attack, capable of rapid deployment,” he said.
Ambassador Henry Cooper, former director of the Strategic Defense Initiative and chief negotiator on nuclear and space treaties with the Soviet Union, said, “Most notable is the fact that Iran has already demonstrated its ability to launch satellites into low earth orbit. When they also gain confidence in their nuclear weapons, they can then use those launchers to place nuclear weapons in earth orbit and detonate them over wherever they wish, creating an electromagnetic pulse that could level its strategic playing field with all of Western civilization. This is perhaps their ultimate asymmetric weapon.”
The Islamic regime may have inadvertently confirmed the existence of the Quds site in a Golpanews report according to Kahlili in subsequent WorldNetDaily report. Kahili cites the comments of national security expert David Trachennberg and USAF Lt. Gen (ret.)Thomas McInerny about possible major advances towards nuclear weapons capabilities that Iran may have made with these disclosures:
David Trachtenberg, who has 30 years of experience in the national security policy field and who served as a deputy assistant secretary of defense, reviewed the imagery with a colleague with extensive knowledge of imagery.
“[The satellite images] suggest the possibility that Iran may in fact be further along in its nuclear weapons program than is generally assumed,” he said. “It is clear they have gone to great lengths to bury and protect high-value assets at this site, which also complicates the possibility of direct military action and illustrates the risks of allowing years to pass while hoping diplomacy will work.
“An accelerating train is harder to slow and takes longer to stop. These images reinforce my concern that Iranian nuclear progress is accelerating,” Trachtenberg said. “The more emphatically the U.S. declares its determination to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state, the harder it may be to ensure that outcome.”
“Reza Kahlili has provided the West with one of the most critical pieces of evidence of the Iranian government’s drive to break out its nuclear development into a fully operational capability,” said USAF Lt.. Gen. Thomas G. McInerny (Ret.). “All the red lines have been crossed. Beware America, Israel and the West, a nuclear Iran is here!”
Contrast these evaluations with those published today in a Wall Street Journal Europe op-ed by David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security, Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Professor Orde Kittrie of Arizona State University. Commenting on Obama’s assessment of Iran’s nuclear development, the authors note:
Obama has implicitly threatened to use force, if necessary, to prevent Iran from “obtaining” nuclear weapons. But once Tehran is perched at critical capability, it could use the threat of an undetectable breakout to enjoy many of the strategic benefits of having a bomb without crossing Obama’s red line.
Once Iran has produced sufficient fissile material—weapons-grade uranium or separated plutonium—it will be much more difficult for the West to stop Iran from completing the process of actually building nuclear weapons.
Iran already knows enough to create the non-fissile parts of a basic nuclear bomb. With this knowledge, a country such as Iran could manufacture nuclear weapon components, or even assemble complete bombs, in small, secret facilities. …
We estimate that Iran, on its current trajectory, will by mid-2014 be able to dash to fissile material in one to two weeks unless its production of 20%-enriched uranium is curtailed. …
[ . . .]
If Iran achieves breakout capacity, the United States, by President Obama’s admission, would not have sufficient insight into Iran’s progress to intervene “in time” to prevent it from completing the process of obtaining nuclear weapons.
If assessments of these US intelligence and national security experts cited by Kahlili are correct then the Islamic regime may have already crossed the red lines of breakout capability that might enable assembly of nuclear devices far in advance of the mid-2014 time frame forecasted by the WSJ op-ed authors. Perhaps that may explain the differences between the clocks for Iran’s nuclear weapons development of Israeli PM Netanyahu versus President Obama. If the former is the case then the effectiveness of prevailing sanctions is past. Further P5+1 discussions with the Islamic regime will only play into Iran own schedule for revealing its nuclear cards.
March 24, 2013:
FDI reveals 3rd new nuclear site, surrounded by giant ballistic missile field. Stunning satellite imagery, obtained by the director of FDI Strategic Information programs Reza Kahlili, reveals the existence of a previously undisclosed buried nuclear site 15 miles northwest of the Fordow enrichment plant. The new facility, known as “Qods” (Jerusalem), is surrounded by giant missile fields, with more than 380 half buried “garages” for mobile missile launchers that will give the IRGC the ability to “shoot and scoot” with mobile Shahab-3 missiles, just as Hezbollah did during the 2006 war against Israel with smaller missiles. According to FDI sources, the buried facility has the capacity to house 8,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges, although it’s not known at present how many – if any – have been installed. [Watch the video and read more at www.iran.org]