On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said there was no credible evidence of the reported explosion at the Fordow Nuclear Facility in Iran. The news of a catastrophic blast at the secret underground site was first reported Friday, January 25, 2013 by Reza Kahlili, a former member of the feared Revolutionary Guard who infiltrated the Iranian government as a member of the CIA.
Writing for the highly controversial news website, WND, Kahlili claimed his information came from highly placed former members of the Iranian government, including Hamidreza Zakeri, who served in the Islamic regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and National Security.
The report was not taken seriously until Monday of this week when The London Times corroborated the story, citing information from Israeli intelligence officials in Tel Aviv. After the Times published their information, the story rapidly gained traction, with articles about the blast appearing in The Australian, Business Insider, and several other mainstream newspapers.
Word of the blast was also verified on Monday afternoon by London’s Missing Peace Foundation. The group cited information provided by Dr Ali Reza Nourizadeh, a senior researcher and director of the Center for Arab & Iranian Studies.
Speaking by telephone, Nourizadeh not only confirmed the destruction at the Fordow nuclear site, but he also claimed the city of Qom, where Fordow is located, was encircled by forces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. He added the Iranian government arrested several local journalists who leaked stories about the blast, confiscating their computers and cell phones.
Despite all the reports concerning Fordow, most world governments remain highly skeptical. Iran vehemently denies that there was any incident at Fordow, and even the Obama Administration dismissed the story for lack of evidence. When asked at a press conference if there was any truth to the WND report, Jay Carney only needed one sentence to reject the entire article:
“We have no information to confirm the allegations in that report, and we do not believe the report is credible.”
Members of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who have repeatedly accused Iran of lying to IAEA inspectors to hide a nuclear weapons program, told reporters they have no proof of any explosion or damage at Fordow. Speaking to the Associated Press, IAEA Spokeswoman Gill Tudor said the agency did not support the claims made by WND:
“Iran’s denial of an incident at the Fordow uranium enrichment plant is consistent with our observations.”
While there is some evidence of previous incidents at Iranian nuclear facilities, including the Stuxnet computer virus and a major explosion that killed a General in the Revolutionary Guard and wiped out a missile manufacturing plant, we may never have any reliable information about Fordow.
Verifying anything happening in Iran is next to impossible. The country is larger than France, Italy, and Spain combined and contains vast regions of isolated, lightly populated mountainous terrain. The Iranian government has an unlimited number of places where they could hide a nuclear facility and finding them would be extremely difficult. Even if a facility was discovered, it is more than likely that most Western governments would classify the information as top secret.
WND continued to insist their story is accurate and made additional claims about the Iranian nuclear and germ warfare programs. WND highlighted the following reports in today’s article:
A secret nuclear site in Najaf Abad.
A secret uranium enrichment site in Khondab, where the Russians and North Korean scientists are helping with Iran’s nuclear bomb program.
The secret bio-weapons site in Marzanabad, where, with the help of Russia, Iran has mastered production of eight microbial agents, arming its missiles with biological warheads.
Another nuclear site at Bonab, where, with the help of Russians, uranium enrichment is taking place using laser technology.
The world needs to know if Iran is trying to make an atomic bomb or if, as some sources claim, they have already received atomic weapons from another nation. A nuclear Iran is a threat to the peace and stability of the planet. We can only hope the editors of WND clearly understand the responsibility that is placed upon them when they make claims about nuclear facilities in Iran. Rumor mongering is not journalism.