Today the Times of London quoted Israeli intelligence officials as saying that "a mega explosion had occurred and caused damage to the Iranian "Fordow" nuclear facility. The heavily fortified "Fordow" nuclear facility for uranium enrichment is located underground on a mountain near the Iranian city of Qum.
Sources reported that the explosion occurred last week. The Israeli government was trying to investigate into reports which told of damages sustained by the facility which led to trapping 200 workers inside the facility, according to the newspaper.
The British newspaper quoted an Israeli official as saying that "we're still in the early stages of trying to comprehend what happened and the extent of its significance," pointing out that it was not known whether the explosion was "an act of sabotage of incidental".
The Israeli official declined to comment on news regarding the presence of Israeli warplanes near the facility which contains 2700 centrifuges for uranium enrichment at the time of the explosion's occurrence.
Do not look at the Israeli refusal to comment on the presence of IAF warplanes as an admission they were indeed near the facility. As a practice Israel never confirms nor denies accusations of involvement in a military action.
Hamidreza Zakeri, a former employee of Tehran’s Ministry of Intelligence and National Security who now lives in exile, had confirmed that Fordow had been hit.
“The blast shook facilities within a radius of three miles. Security forces have enforced a no-traffic radius of 15 miles,” the report said. These claims could not be verified last night.The Times of London report seems to confirm earlier reports by WND and The Times of Israel about a giant blast that supposedly destroyed much of the underground uranium enrichment plant in Fordow Iran. The latest report seems to give the story more credibility, but as for now Iran denies the reports describing them as "Western propaganda" designed to influence upcoming nuclear negotiations.
Last year Tehran sought to double its capacity at Fordow to boost the amount of 20 per cent enriched uranium it could produce. Uranium enriched to 20 per cent fuels Iran’s main research reactor, but it is also just below the level useable in nuclear bombs. Avi Dichter, the Israeli Home Front Defence Minister, said: “Any explosion in Iran that doesn’t hurt people but hurts Iran’s assets is welcome.”
In briefings given recently to The Times, Israeli intelligence officers provided satellite imagery that showed new fortifications had been built around Fordow’s perimeter. “This is already Iran’s most heavily fortified facility,” one officer said. He added that while there were larger facilities, intelligence estimates suggested that nuclear scientists at Fordow were producing medium-enriched uranium, which could be converted to bomb grade.