Iran's covert nuclear fuel facility

Well here you go. For years, our intel people have been saying that they saw no evidence of any secret, hidden nuclear activity being conducted by Iran.

Now, according to David Sanger and Helene Cooper of the New York Times, that wishful thinking has been shown to be the mirage it always was:

President Obama and the leaders of Britain and France will accuse Iran Friday of building a secret underground plant to manufacture nuclear fuel, saying the country hid the covert operation from international weapons inspectors for years, according to senior administration officials.

The revelation, which the three leaders will make before the opening of the Group of 20 economic summit here, appears bound to add urgency to the diplomatic confrontation with Iran over its suspected ambitions to build a nuclear weaponsGordon Brown of Britain and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, will demand that Iran allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to conduct an immediate inspection of the facility, which is said to be 100 miles southwest of Tehran.

American officials said that they had been tracking the covert project for years, but that Mr. Obama decided to make public the American findings after Iran discovered, in recent weeks, that Western intelligence agencies had breached the secrecy surrounding the project. On Monday, Iran wrote a brief, cryptic letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency, saying that it had a "pilot plant" under construction.


This "pilot plant" appears to be a mirror image of the Natanz plant that has already enriched enough uranium to build a bomb - if the Iranians would further enrich their stash to the 85-90% level necessary for bomb making.

Here's a question for anyone who may have doubted Iranian intentions with regard to building a nuclear weapon (this includes the CIA and most of the left): why would a nation who only wanted to use  enriched uranium for "peaceful purposes" construct a secret plant that would be easily capable of enriching uranium to levels necessary to construct a bomb?

This has been the fear of American policy makers for years; it would not surprise anyone if this "pilot plant" was being run by the military. If so, it would mean that Iran has been conducting a "dual track" nuclear program for years and that our intel missed it - going so far as writing in at least three National Intelligence Estimates that the Iranians gave up trying to build a bomb back in 2003.

Have the Iranians put one over on us? Until we know the provenance of this "pilot plant," no conclusions like that can be drawn. But it is very significant that the Iranians tried to keep this news from the prying eyes of the IAEA whose clueless nuclear enabler, Mohamed ElBaradei has been insisting for years that the Iranians don't want to build a nuclear weapon.


Well here you go. For years, our intel people have been saying that they saw no evidence of any secret, hidden nuclear activity being conducted by Iran.

Now, according to David Sanger and Helene Cooper of the New York Times, that wishful thinking has been shown to be the mirage it always was:

President Obama and the leaders of Britain and France will accuse Iran Friday of building a secret underground plant to manufacture nuclear fuel, saying the country hid the covert operation from international weapons inspectors for years, according to senior administration officials.

The revelation, which the three leaders will make before the opening of the Group of 20 economic summit here, appears bound to add urgency to the diplomatic confrontation with Iran over its suspected ambitions to build a nuclear weaponsGordon Brown of Britain and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, will demand that Iran allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to conduct an immediate inspection of the facility, which is said to be 100 miles southwest of Tehran.

American officials said that they had been tracking the covert project for years, but that Mr. Obama decided to make public the American findings after Iran discovered, in recent weeks, that Western intelligence agencies had breached the secrecy surrounding the project. On Monday, Iran wrote a brief, cryptic letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency, saying that it had a "pilot plant" under construction.


This "pilot plant" appears to be a mirror image of the Natanz plant that has already enriched enough uranium to build a bomb - if the Iranians would further enrich their stash to the 85-90% level necessary for bomb making.

Here's a question for anyone who may have doubted Iranian intentions with regard to building a nuclear weapon (this includes the CIA and most of the left): why would a nation who only wanted to use  enriched uranium for "peaceful purposes" construct a secret plant that would be easily capable of enriching uranium to levels necessary to construct a bomb?

This has been the fear of American policy makers for years; it would not surprise anyone if this "pilot plant" was being run by the military. If so, it would mean that Iran has been conducting a "dual track" nuclear program for years and that our intel missed it - going so far as writing in at least three National Intelligence Estimates that the Iranians gave up trying to build a bomb back in 2003.

Have the Iranians put one over on us? Until we know the provenance of this "pilot plant," no conclusions like that can be drawn. But it is very significant that the Iranians tried to keep this news from the prying eyes of the IAEA whose clueless nuclear enabler, Mohamed ElBaradei has been insisting for years that the Iranians don't want to build a nuclear weapon.