Monday, April 24, 2006


Iran, 2 weeks ago, announced to the world, with much fanfare, that they had taken the first steps toward enriching uranium. What they didn't announce was that a second, hidden facility was being readied for large-scale, weaponized uranium enrichment. This hidden facility could hold up to 155,000 centrifuges once it becomes operation in late 2007. That's enough to produce 9-12 nukes per year...
Hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s claim of Iranian success in low-level uranium enrichment was more bombastic than frank. Before springing his disclosure at a sacred mausoleum in the northern town of Mashhad on April 11, DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources disclose he paid a stealthy visit to Neyshabour in Khorassan, 38 kms to the southeast.

There, he inspected a project he omitted to mention in his Mashhad speech about low-level enrichment, namely, a top-secret plant under construction that is designed to run 155,000 centrifuges, enough to enrich uranium for 3-5 nuclear bombs a year.

This is Project B, or the hidden face of the enrichment plant open to inspection at Natanz.

This plant, due for completion next October, is scheduled to go on line at the end of 2007. According to our intelligence sources, running-in has begun at some sections of the Neyshabour installation, which is located 600 km northeast of Tehran. DEBKAfile’s sources reveal too that the Neyshabour plant has been built 150 m deep under farmland covered with mixed vegetable crops and dubbed Shahid Moradian, in the name of a war martyr as obscure as its existence.

Is this Project B known to our intel agencies? I certainly would expect so. But, knowing the recent track record of our CIA... who knows.

So what are we doing to counter these obviously aggressive moves Iran is making? Forming another "coalition of the willing". According to Insight magazine, the U.S. is drawing up war plans with Britain and, of all countries, France...
The United States has dropped Israel as a potential partner in any attack against Iran.

Sources close to the administration said that instead the White House has been discussing a joint military campaign with two European states to destroy Iran's nuclear program. They identified the states as Britain and France.

If true, this would be ideal. This would have a fully aligned West, attacking the clear and present threat of Iran. This operation would be so much easier to sell than Iraq, it's almost too easy to justify.

As the world moves closer and closer to the inevitable confrontation with Iran, the questions that keep coming to my head are: Why would the Iranian president continue to fuel the fire and make a justification for attack on his country so easy? Where is Israel in all this? Where will Russia and China, two strategic allies of Iran, land in this controversy? What are the long term impacts of a strategic strike on Iran's nuke facilities and not a full scale war?

Thoughts to ponder as the clock ticks closer to judgement day...

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