Iran Claims New Clandestine Enrichment Facility
Author: Monica Amarelo
(WASHINGTON DC (10 September 2010) -- On September 9, the National Council for the Resistance of Iran (NCRI) announced that Iran has been building a new clandestine enrichment facility in the mountains northwest of Tehran. The announcement comes almost a year after President Obama declared that the Iranian government had been building a small-scale enrichment facility in the mountains of Qom, now known as the Fordow Enrichment Facility.
An FAS technical assessment showed that the Fordow facility was too small for a civilian facility, but also too small to make sense for a military program. Based on the planned enrichment capacity of the facility, FAS concluded that Fordow was likely one of many similar facilities. A week later, Iran confirmed these predictions announcing plans to build 10 new enrichment plants.
The new discovery is in line with Iranian public announcements to construct additional similar facilities.
In April, Iranian officials stated that they had approved the location of a new uranium enrichment site and planned to begin construction over the next year. The NCRI’s announcement is also consistent with Iran’s declarations to the IAEA that the government had built various well-protected “contingency centers,” some of which had been allocated to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.
“Calculating the capacity of Fordow” http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp/
“Figuring out Fordow” http://www.neimagazine.com/
Read more analysis about Iran here.
Ivan Oelrich is the Senior Fellow for the Strategic Security Program at the Federation of American Scientists.
Ivanka Barzashkais a Research Associate with the Strategic Security Program.