UPDATE: The Times of London’s Israel correspondent, Sheera Frenkel, has just confirmed the Fordo incident through her own independent sources:
An explosion is believed to have damaged Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility, which is being used to enrich uranium, Israeli intelligence officials have told The Times. Sources in Tel Aviv said yesterday that they thought the explosion happened last week. The Israeli Government is investigating reports that it led to extensive structural damage and 200 workers had been trapped inside.
One Israeli official said: “We are still in the preliminary stages of understanding what happened and how significant it is.” He did not know, he added, if the explosion was “sabotage or accident”, and refused to comment on reports that Israeli aircraft were seen near the facility at the time of the explosion.
Sheera is a terrific reporter. She would not report a story unless totally confident in the authenticity of her source, which makes me even more confident in the accuracy of my own.
A highly-placed Israeli source informs me that Iran’s uranium enrichment facility at Fordo has been extensively damaged by an explosion. The bomb was the work of a joint Israeli-U.S.-MEK sabotage operation codenamed Achilles, which used a Trojan horse to infiltrate the plant.
Bibi Netanyahu convened an extraordinary meeting of all the top intelligence and military brass on Wednesday, the day after the election, to evaluate Achilles. They deemed it a “great success.” Word of the meeting leaked to the media, so the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) released a cover story saying the meeting was about the Syrian situation (Hebrew). It wasn’t.
Such sabotage has happened before to Iranian nuclear facilities. But one of the things that is new about this operation is that this is the first time in his previous reporting that my source has told me the U.S. and MEK collaborated with the Mossad. Previous assassinations were joint efforts of only the MEK and Israel. If this is true, it may mean that the State Department’s removal of the MEK from the U.S. terror list has allowed the CIA to begin working with the Iranian group in a much more direct fashion. Those of us who know about the nature of the MEK can only be alarmed that our government is allying itself with a terrorist cult.
Across Yediot’s front page, this major headline blared (see image):
Mystery Explosion in Iran
Iranian intelligence sources who defected to the west: the uranium enrichment plant in the belly of the earth near Qom was destroyed last week.
Alex Fishman, whose article accompanies the headline, includes hardly a reference to the astonishing news featured in the headline. He does refer to sabotage and mysterious failures which have beset the nuclear program and caused any estimation of an Iranian nuclear weapon to be delayed by two years.
The Yediot headline may refer to a report by Iranian defector using the pseudonym, Reza Khalili, and published in the far-right news site, WND. He was the first to report on the explosion and based his story on a former Iranian intelligence official. That source alleges:
The regime believes the blast was sabotage and the explosives could have reached the area disguised as equipment or in the uranium hexafluoride stock transferred to the site…
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.