Report of huge explosion at nuclear facility in Iran — Major news networks dismiss claim

Published: January 27th, 2013 at 6:35 pm ET


Updated Here: [intlink id=”top-uk-paper-massive-explosion-believed-damaged-nuclear-facility-iran-sources” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Title: Who spread reports of an ‘explosion’ at Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant and why?
Source: Haaretz Daily Newspaper
Author: Anshel Pfeffer
Date: Jan. 27, 2013

The Internet has been abuzz over the last couple of days with an uncorroborated report regarding a huge explosion in the underground uranium enrichment plant at Fordow in Iran. […]

The main problem with the report is that no supporting evidence has appeared so far from any reliable sources to corroborate it, nor has a statements been released from an official source in Iran or any other country. All the main Western news organizations with contacts and sources in the intelligence community have steered well away from the story. (In Israel, only the tabloid Yedioth Ahronoth, which splashed the story on the front page of its Sunday edition, took notice of the story.)

Perhaps it’s the identity of the report’s author which leads to the disbelief: Reza Kahlili, an Iranian exile with an interesting past who is well known to many reporters covering intelligence and Iranian affairs. He published the report on the explosion, which apparently took place on Monday, the eve of the Israeli elections, on World News Daily, a veteran website with close contacts to the far-right in the United States. […]

In a phone-interview with Haaretz (Kahlili used a voice-distorting device), he insisted that his information was accurate […]

Read the report here

Published: January 27th, 2013 at 6:35 pm ET


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48 comments to Report of huge explosion at nuclear facility in Iran — Major news networks dismiss claim

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    Most of you know Anonymous hacked a US .gov website:

    Now this, from the UK:

    This is some serious stuff. Chemical warfare plans, false flag operations, some serious stuff:

    And further analysis of its' contents:

    If the British are doing this, they're doing it with US blessings.

    Nothing like this has ever been leaked before.

    What have we come to?


      they're setting-up false flags, TIS, to justify a complete crackdown on the net. You need only monitor the MSM 'chatter' while comparing it with their latest bugaboo threat, to know they're real agenda…

    • Jay

      How about a different way of doing war ?

      All you need is to drop ( from 30 Km high ) a dozen Osprey miniature ( plane/helicopter in one ) loaded with high-explosive to glide near the air duct of that instalation , imagine one by one droping inside and detonating .

      It's time for the Drone war where a pigeon-like one is great to assassinate the target , no more sharp-shooters .

      Think drone , think new type of war . Than consider the Solution : a few EMPs .


    don't get better 'analysis' than this…

    How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Israeli Bomb

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    Mischief galore, but whose? The author "Reza Kahlili, an Iranian exile with an interesting past" has an amazing website to peddle his book, or so we're told. He claims to be a Company man:

    His name comes up on plenty of fringe/mischief sites, but it's not at all clear who is doing what to whom.

    Teaser sample, but please search for yourself – plenty to choose from. Keep your wits about you, some of this stuff is assuredly nonsense, but which bits are real?

  • Jebus Jebus

    hmm, here's some more…

    DEBKAfile covers my report on Fordo explosion with a meaningful last paragraph

    DEBKAfile in its report on a mysterious twin-car bomb explosion at Syrian regional intelligence headquarters, has also covered my report on an explosion at the Iranian nuclear site,the Fordo facility. Interestingly, DEBKAfile refers to CIA’s involvement and distances Israel from such covert operation but at the same time in the last paragraph of the report, talks about a promotion to Israel’s Military Intelligence Director Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi for outstanding covert operations!

    Iranian-Hizballah convoy blown up on Syrian Golan. Border tensions shoot up

    At least eight officers were killed in a mysterious twin-car bomb explosion Friday, Jan. 25 at Syrian regional intelligence headquarters in Quneitra on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Some of the fatalities were Syrian, but Western intelligence sources disclosed to debkafile that most were high-ranking Iranian Al Qods Brigades and Hizballah officers.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Here is UPI:

    Report says blast in Iranian nuke site
    “…The Iranian regime called the explosion sabotage and said explosives disguised as equipment were transferred to the site, WND said. The blast occurred at the third centrifuge chambers with high-grade enriched uranium reserves below. Iran's intelligence agency received information from an alleged spy working in Israel's Mossad that plans were under way to target Iran's nuclear sites, the report alleged.…”

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Quotation from the story saying the explosion is not true:
    " He published the report on the explosion, which apparently took place on Monday, the eve of the Israeli elections, on World News Daily, a veteran website with close contacts to the far-right in the United States. […]"

    Actually, WDN, is World Net Daily, not World News Daily. And it is not a veterans website.

    Sabotage! Key Iranian nuclear facility hit?

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    From Die Welt “Now, the ‘Welt am Sonntag’, however, has received from an Iranian intelligence service contacts with experts confirmed that the explosion had actually happened.”
    [Google translate] “According to a report by Iran expert Reza Khalili it has on the Iranian nuclear facility of Fordo A few days ago a huge explosion that destroyed large parts of the plant. Khalili says he got this information from a former Iranian intelligence officials.

    “The explosion had occurred five days ago, a day before the Israeli election. 240 people were employed in the system, should it be cut off from the outside world. The Iranian regime is the first secret of Fordow plant deeply dug into a mountain near the holy city of Qom in order to do so invincible against any outside attack.

    “After Khalili had published its report on Thursday on the news website WND, he quickly spread among experts on Iran and the Iranian nuclear program. So far, the message has not been confirmed by the Iranian side, and it was unclear how reliable Khalili sources. Now, the ‘Welt am Sonntag’, however, has received from an Iranian intelligence service contacts with experts confirmed that the explosion had actually happened. After this information is not 240, but was nevertheless completed about 190 workers at the nuclear plant from the outside world.

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Here are 2 articles by the veteran website, Before Its News:

    WND Report Blows Iran Nuke Program Wide Open

    More on The Iranian Fordow Nuclear Explosion

  • dharmasyd dharmasyd

    Has anyone checked seismological data. A "huge explosion" would show up.

  • Lilith

    Greetings, all. Have followed enenews for a long time. I sent in a tip last night, glad to see a post up! I am on a phone, and have been trying to link the image to support my belief about the authenticity of the report to no avail…Anyway google images within last week for Fordow and observe the difference in the image! There is a side by side image illusrating how the facility blends in well with the
    environment a week ago, but now
    it has a white explosion imprint, I
    think, proving that, yes, it did suffer a massive explosion. So now, to me a huge question is environmental impact?

  • Lilith

    Aside from Mother Earth and species damage issues, tons of politics here too, obviously… Most likely scenario is clearly sabotage, methinks, and we know whom the implicated ones are…

  • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

    Of course, the nuclear industry would rather you believe that there was sabotage rather than a meltdown due to a weapon making facility in an earthquake prone area:

    "…Later, in September 2011, Iran said it would move its production of 20% LEU to Fordow from Natanz,[22] and enrichment started in December 2011.[23] According to the Institute for Science and International Security, two possible locations of the facility are 34.88459°N 50.99596°E and 34.94373°N 50.76056°E.[24]…"

    • this week: 5.1 in Borujan, Chahar Mahall va Bakhtiari, Iran
    • this month: 5.1 in Borujan, Chahar Mahall va Bakhtiari, Iran
    • this year: 5.2 in Borujan, Chahar Mahall va Bakhtiari, Iran

  • Lilith

    Indeed a very earthquake prone area, Anne, which we all know is a stupid combination… Nuclear is destined to chronic mishaps and accidents, without rhrowing sabotage into the mix 🙁 A brazen attack if sabotage, which is telling, though not unexpected. On the other hand, a clever distraction from the inherent nightmare of inevitable mishap. It is certain that if this event has happened, which I believe it has, it too is clearly going to be ignored, denied, downplayed, and refocused, as per the trend of nuclear pushers, and organized big business. This one is easier to hide deep within a mountain….

  • Lilith

    Breaking news…Tepco called them to offer professional advice on how to handle the situation..send out workers to spray paint the the now white areas brown, so it blends in with the mountain! As good as new now!

  • Lilith

    And hey, it works for baldness too…just spraypaint your head after your hair falls out from radiation poisoning, and before you don your lead dosimeter shield 😉

  • markww markww

    Nuclear Plant Exploded deep underground trapping hundreds


  • It's All Lies It's All Lies

    Welcome Lilith!

  • It's All Lies It's All Lies

    You from the USA?

  • pcjensen

    most recent: Fordo explosion confirmed Israeli sources confirm blast at Iranian nuclear facility Tel Aviv – Tehran-Qom highway was shut down for several hours +


    looking like a bogus report…

    [article extract – Phoebe Greenwood in Tel Aviv – 11:14AM GMT 28 Jan 2013]
    "…Shamseddin Barbroudi, deputy head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, assured Iranian reporters there had been no explosion at the nuclear facility whatsoever.

    Earlier the same day, Avi Dichter, Israel's home defence minister, had been unable to confirm the unsubstantiated reports but nonetheless, welcomed them. "Any explosion in Iran that doesn't hurt people but hurts its assets is welcome," he said."

    "Mystery over 'explosion' at Iran's Fordow nuclear site"

  • pcjensen Fordo Update: Times of London’s Israel correspondent, Sheera Frenkel, has just confirmed event


      still not buying into it pcjensen. What they call independent sources leaves much to question. Won't say it didn't happen…

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      Times of London is now Murdoch-owned and is claimed to be in massive decline.

      The story originated with a self-styled CIA veteran (see upthread).

      We'll see where it all goes, but mischief is afoot.


        exactly. Doesn't take a genius to know what's happening. I'm just curious to what's behind this. If it's true and the result of 'external forces', it seems provocative. If it's the result of Iranian technical mismanagement, why aren't sat-images being released to show the extent of the damage?

        That this story's been initially 'disclosed' by a known political opponent of the Iranian government leaves much to question. If it were true, there would be a slew of corroborative sources backing-up his claims. Something just doesn't ring true about this whole story. A few more days and we'll know what the truth…

  • irhologram

    BUT this isn't the first report of "sabotage." Remember when 30 or so people were killed, including an important nuke scientist? Remember the fire and possible bomb, above ground, at an Iranian nuclear facility about a year back? At that time, many were saying it was the beginning of a covert WAR…and I would suggest that, if this current report is true…practically the entire world, except Americans, KNOW this was an act of war, not "sabotage." While the distinction may be subtle, I think it's important to evaluate. Sabotage implies possible rogue elements, and can come from any sector. War is an instrument of governments and if this IS war, guess whose government.


      agreed irhologram. That's why my above response to aigeezer states that this would be 'provocative'. If it's either a cyber or hard munitions attack against the Iranians, there can be no doubt that the Israeli and American people are being setup for a horrendous war. The Russians and Chinese have already made it clear, they'll not stand by and allow further attacks against Iran. This could be the usual chest beating. Regardless if it is or isn't, I fear the outcome of such brazen stupidity…

    • aigeezer aigeezer

      The source of the story is "Reza Kahlili", who says he used to work for the CIA but now lives in California. How would he, just another private citizen (ahem), know about a nuke explosion on the other side of the world when nobody else knew about it? How could such a private citizen possibly be in a position to break such a major story? Who in the media would listen to him and why? How would they normally confirm such claims?

      This smells like the recent obscure movie (rarely viewed) that supposedly set the Arab world on fire because it criticized Islam.

      It's gamesmanship, but who are the players, what does a win/loss look like and what are the stakes?


        good stuff aigeezer…

      • pcjensen

        could well be: "It's gamesmanship, but who are the players, what does a win/loss look like and what are the stakes?"

        usually it's about oil, money, gold… so keep eyes on world financial and or other military action that Fordo may be distracting us from.

        • aigeezer aigeezer

          pcjensen and AFTERSHOCK, I agree. Those are the kinds of things to keep an eye on, although they may not play out synchronously. Germany is repatriating most of its gold from storage in New York, for example, but that could be mere coincidence and presumably is related to the ongoing Euro meltdown, rather than anticipating another war. Argentina's currency is in collapse, but that happens every few years and doesn't even make headlines any more even though it could domino.

          Some of these things play out in slow motion and some in sudden bursts.

          I really have no idea what we're watching this time, but I'm pretty sure it is nothing like the Kahlili/Murdoch version we are being offered.

          Time will tell. There's a strange "Archduke Ferdinand" feeling in the air these days. Somebody might be making their move or it might be just another cat's paw feint.

          Interesting times!


            I do so love that "Archduke Ferdinand" thing, aigeezer! Truer words have rarely been voiced. I have the sinking feeling, they're getting ready to smother us in our sleep…

  • pcjensen

    oh boy: Updates, looking more credible

    [..]ran’s underground Fordo nuclear plant was indeed hit by an explosion sometime last week, and Iranian officials suspect the Mossad or CIA as responsible actors, the former Iranian intelligence officer who initially broke the story said Monday.

    In an interview with Channel 2 News, Hamidreza Zakeri surmised, however, that an Iranian “internal action” could also have been at play.

    Some 240 people were working at the plant at a depth of 90 meters at the time of the incident, according to Zakeri. He said that the two elevators normally available for transfer to the surface are now out of order and it is unknown if workers were hurt or killed in the explosion.

    Channel 2′s Middle East analyst Ehud Yaari said that the IAEA would know within days if a blast had actually occurred at the plant. According to Yaari, the UN nuclear watchdog has cameras placed at Fordo, which it inspects every seven to 10 days.[..]

  • irhologram

    After reading this, it seems reasonable to think one of two things.
    Either countries it's uncomfortable to name launched this disinformation campaign timed to ruin Iran's negotiating power at the upcoming talks OR 200 people are trapped beneath a mountain, dying of radiation, possibly on monitor. Or by phone. I believe the story, as told, means these people will remain sealed in the mountain rather than release radiation. The above discussion seems to insist on the idea of a massive, Richter scale explosion. Why? Sabotage of the facility could be accomplished more easily by stealth, as Iran's former report of an attempt in the Fall shows is a possibility. If they unseal the mountain, the radiation escapes. I guess. Or is the thing going to blow up the mountain? the stage being carefully set to begin war in earnest ANY way you look at it?

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    Fordow Uranium Enrichment Facility Explosion, Radiation Leak? via A Green Road

  • Sickputer

    Re: Fordow "explosion". Best explanation of this unconfirmed story is disinformation propaganda by people with a purpose.

    "On January 25, 2013, news website WND published a report claiming that on January 21, the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant near the Iranian city of Qom was the target of a major explosion, thought to be an act of sabotage. The website claimed the explosion partially destroyed the site and trapped 240 people underground. ISIS obtained from Astrium commercial satellite imagery of the site taken the day after the explosion (figure 1). The imagery shows no exterior signs of an explosion or major damage. Although an underground explosion may not leave visible exterior signs of damage, ISIS observed no intensified activity in the form of emergency or cleanup vehicles that one would expect to see around the site in the wake of an incident of this magnitude (figure 1). The lack of clarity at very high magnification does leave some doubt about whether a set of three white marks near one of the entrances of the southernmost tunnel could indeed be three vehicles. However, an emergency response would be expected to have been prompt and to have involved many more vehicles, particularly given the national importance of the gas centrifuge site and especially of the personnel working underground."

    • Sickputer

      There are a number of good theories on why this news release occurred:

      My favorite:

      "Look at the supposedly confirmatory sources quoted:
      Silverstein: "a highly-placed Israeli source"
      Die Welt: "einem Iran-Experten mit Geheimdienstkontakten" [my translation: an Iran expert with contacts in the intelligence service. The Google translation seems to get it backwards, but my German is far from idiomatic.]
      Times of London: "Israeli intelligence officials"

      I didn't link the Times of London article earlier, because it's behind a paywall. But it's being cited by others.

      All anonymous sources. At best, this is a weak way to offer confirmation. News protocol generally requires two independent sources to confirm a story. Given Kahlili's unreliability, I would expect two additional sources.

      Two Israeli sources, the third ambiguous. Kahlili is connected with Israeli intelligence, so these sources are not independent.

      Now we can shift to the question of why that report was floated and by whom. P5+1 talks with Iran were scheduled for this week. Silverstein's source implicates the United States in the putative explosion. Looks like whoever is responsible for the story might have wanted to disrupt the talks. And perhaps they have succeeded."