Iranian Official Claims Sabotage against Underground Nuke Site

Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

It was revealed this week that power cables were cut to Iran’s controversial underground nuclear enrichment Fordo facility—and the source for this information is the head of Iran’s nuclear agency. Iranian Press TV reported that Dr. Fereydoun Abbasi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, made the claims of sabotage in a meeting on Monday of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Abbasi implicated IAEA officials in the incident.

Press TV quoted Abbasi as saying in the meeting in Vienna that on August 17 power lines to the facility were “cut using explosives.”

The Iranian nuclear official even noted the potential motive behind the power outage. “It should be reminded that power outage is a way of damaging centrifuge machines,” he said, referring to the devices used to enrich uranium for use as nuclear fuel. Relatively low levels of enrichment of uranium can be used to make fuel for nuclear power plants, while further enriching can be done to military grade for weapons.

Abbasi then linked the supposed sabotage with a demand for a “snap inspection” the next day by IAEA inspectors. “Isn’t there any connection between the visit and the blast? Who else could have quick access to the facility other than IAEA inspectors to register and report dysfunctions?” Press TV said Abbasi warned the IAEA to be wary of “terrorists and saboteurs” slipping into its ranks.

Iran and the IAEA have long been in disagreement over Iranian nuclear facilities and personnel where Tehran has limited IAEA access for inspections. The dispute has only heightened fears Iran is working towards developing nuclear weapons.

Iran’s nuclear and missile programs have suffered a variety of sabotage attempts over the years, most famously by the Stuxnet computer virus. Iranian nuclear scientists have also been assassinated, apparently in efforts to slow down Iranian progress towards a nuclear bomb.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, September 17, 2012)