WND Adds to Report on Explosion at Fordow Nuclear Plant as Former Revolutionary Guard Member Confirms Incident to Israeli Media

January 29, 2013 9:56 am 2 comments

Satellite view of the uranium-enrichment facility near Qom, Iran. Photo: DigitalGlobe.

WND.com has doubled down on its initial report of an explosion at Iran’s Fordow Nuclear plant, offering specific details of the incident, including a timeline of events.

Reza Khalili, author of the original article, reported Tuesday that his source has confirmed that sixteen North Koreans, including 14 technicians and two top military officers, are among those trapped after a Jan. 21 explosion destroyed much of the nuclear site.

Khalili also reports in the article that Iranian officials have not yet come up with a rescue plan and fear that opening the site from the outside in a rescue mission could possibly release radiation and uranium gas or cause further explosions, which could contaminate thousands of people living nearby.

Khalili says that a different source in the Intelligence Ministry says that in a  meeting Monday among top officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it was decided that Iran will continue to deny the story to the international community. Khalili further writes, “The source added that the regime is contemplating showing old images of the interior of the site to buy time until it can accurately estimate the extent of damage and possible loss of lives. Ahmadinejad will hold a parliamentary meeting behind closed doors on this issue on Thursday.

Khalili’s report last week was initially met with skepticism, much of which has not subsided. On Monday White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Monday: “We have no information to confirm the allegations in the report and we do not believe the report is credible.”

Khalili claims that his source dismisses the U.S.’s laconic response, saying it is “an indication that the United States wants to steer away from the subject as any covert operation against the regime’s nuclear installations will have consequences, including retaliation.”

Other news outlets have begun to pick up on the story, and their reportage has made the veracity of the story more plausible. On Tuesday Israel’s Channel 2 quoted a former Revolutionary Guard member who has defected from the country as confirming the report, adding that Iranian officials believe “Mossad and Israel carried out a secret operation, or it was some internal action.”
On Monday the Times of London, quoting intelligence sources, also confirmed the report as did Germany’s Die Welt on Sunday.
Khalili posted a timeline of events from that fateful day in his most recent article. He claims he was provided the by the source he has been using to gather most of his information:
  • On Jan 21, 14 members of the North Korean team and two military officers now stationed at Fordow along with Iranian scientists started the process of feeding uranium gas into the newly set-up cascades at 9:15 a.m. Tehran time.
  • At 10:43 a.m., due to a drop in power pressure, system warning signs went off, but everything went back to normal after two minutes.
  • At 11:36 a.m., five explosions occurred concurrently in the centrifuge chambers, two explosions in the uranium reserve enclosures and a subsequent explosion in the main hallway close to the exit.
  • At the time of the explosions, a very bright red and purple light distorted the image and an extremely loud noise could be heard. Before the explosions knocked out the cameras, interior walls could be seen coming down within the centrifuge chambers. All the explosions seemed to have been initiated from the ceilings.
  • All cameras on the lowest floor (about 300 feet deep under a mountain) and the floor above it (about 250 feet deep) were knocked out, and only two cameras above the installation where security personnel are stationed were working.
  • Security forces immediately informed their superiors, who ordered them to remain in the monitoring room and avoid further communication with the outside world until counterintelligence forces arrived. Twenty-one personnel were gathered in a conference room to await further instruction.
  • Security forces were then told to close down all surrounding roads.
  • Approximately two hours after the explosions, counterintelligence agents arrived and, after interviewing personnel and reviewing tapes, initially concluded that explosives may have been placed in ceiling lamps with some kind of trigger mechanism controlled by a power voltage frequency.
  • The last images show eight personnel in anti-radiation clothing trying desperately to secure one of the rooms.

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