A Nuclear Reactor Is Secretly under Construction in Khuzestan

Before his retirement this year, the International Atomic Energy Agency's director-general Mohammed ElBaradei once again discounted Iran's ability to produce a nuclear weapon any time soon and claimed its threat was exaggerated.

He thus trashed a thick new dossier assembled in the last three months by US, British, French, Dutch, German, Japanese and Israeli intelligence agencies. According to DEBKA-Net-Weekly intelligence sources, the dossier was handed him by the inter-service intelligence commission formed by the seven governments last May in the naive hope of convincing him to include some real facts in his final report report.

But ElBaradei remained deaf and blind.

Pretending to protect confidential sources, the nuclear watchdog's director held back the evidence against Iran filling the dossier, for which senior US and Israeli officials accused him of falsifying the record in Iran's favor.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly reveals that the new data shows Tehran to be up to the final weapon design stage in the construction of bombs and nuclear warheads. The seven governments mean to release the information, most probably in stages through a dissident Iranian group in exile.

It falls into four main categories:

1. A sufficiency of enriched uranium for two bombs by February

Iran is up to an output of 2.7 kilograms of enriched uranium, which means that by February 2010, it will have enough weapons-grade fuel for building two nuclear bombs.

On Tuesday, September 1, the Wisconsin Project (which is promoted by the University of Wisconsin for nuclear arms control research in the interest of stemming their spread) published the following finding:

Based on the amount of low-enriched uranium Iran has stockpiled, and the amount it is believed to be producing each month, the Wisconsin Project estimates that by December 2008, Iran had accumulated enough U-235 to fuel one bomb quickly. By the end of this year, the Project estimates that Iran will have enough U-235 to a fuel a second bomb. “Quickly,” in this context, means two to three months – about the time it would take Iran to raise the level of U-235 in its uranium stockpile from 3.5 percent to over 90 percent.

As Iran increases the number of centrifuge machines it is operating, and increases its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, it will consolidate its status as a “virtual” nuclear weapon state.


2. A secret nuclear reactor in Darkhovin:

Important strides have been made in the last year to finish construction of a secret military nuclear reactor at Darkhovin on the Karun River, south of the city of Ahwaz in Khuzestan. A suspected underground nuclear weapons facility of an unspecified nature is believed to be situated at the site under the control of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (ICRG).

IAEA inspectors are denied access to both facilities, which are drawing increasing interest from Western intelligence.

The 360mw nuclear power plant is being built entirely of specialized Iranian components with Chinese and North Korean help, to keep its existence behind wraps and to create an alternative to the Russian-built reactor in Bushehr, which most Western agencies believe has been stalled again because Tehran believes it will be no better than a second Chernobyl and bring disaster to Iran.

3. Iran has homemade fuel rods:

The Darkhovin reactor will be powered by made-in-Iran fuel rods which according to our intelligence sources are an exact replica of the rods supplied by Russian for Bushehr.

4. And a new generation of centrifuges:

Iran is now in production of a new generation of improved centrifuge machines called IR4 for the advanced process of uranium enrichment.

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