Velayet-1 “Medicine Factory” near Isfahan
By Jerry Gordon
In October we briefly mentioned Reza Kahlili’s earlier report of a secret nuclear weapons lab built underneath an alleged medical research facility in Iran. In his latest expose in World Net Daily (WND), “Secret Iran Nuclear Plant Expanding”, We have both satellite imagery and interior photos confirming work on the site. These have been provided by sources in Iran who have clearances to enter nuclear weapons lab. Kahlili’s comment about possible achievement of nuclear triggers and detonators for warheads should raise concerns in both Washington and Jerusalem about “red lines” for Iran’s nuclear program.
Reference is made in this latest Kahlili report that the Islamic Republic may be on the verge of mounting nuclear warheads on liquid fueled Shahab-3 missiles and possibly on solid propellant Seijil-2 and BM-25 missiles. The former have a range of 2,000 kilometers, sufficient to reach targets in the Middle East especially Israel and southeastern Europe. The Sejil -2 has a range upwards of 2,600 kilometers and the BM-25, 3,500 kilometers covering virtually all of Europe. Israeli Missile Expert Uzi Landau indicated in 2011 interviews that Iran may have in excess of 300 Shahab-3 missiles.
The solid fuel missiles are typically placed in underground silos around Tabriz that require minimal time for launch. Whether mounted with nuclear or non-nuclear warheads Iran’s missile threat to Europe and the Middle East could be worse than the Nazi V-2 rocket campaign against Britain during WWII. Given production of Iranian missiles in Venezuela this raises a possible threat to the Western Hemisphere and the US analogous to the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. – see our NER article, The Iranian Missile Threat.
Kahlili’s report on the secret nuclear laboratory discloses the following:
Work surrounding Iran’s latest secret nuclear site continues unabated, new satellite images from DigitalGlobe show.
The site – Velayat 1 – which is in the province of Isfahan on the outskirts of the small city of Najafabad, was built for research and development and has a capacity of 800 centrifuges for uranium enrichment. It already has successfully tested a neutron detonator and implosion system for a nuclear bomb.
According to the source for the exclusive WND report, research at the site includes design of a nuclear warhead for the Iranian Shahab-3 ballistic missile, which is now almost complete. The source added that there is also a nuclear reactor at the site along with a separation plant as another path to acquire a nuclear bomb.
To avoid suspicion, the site was built below a medicine factory called Abu Reyhan. The facility beneath the factory has three levels, with two underground entrances away from the facility. This is where the father of Iran’s nuclear program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, assisted by 10 other scientists, is working on Iran’s nuclear bomb program, within the SEPAND project (known by the IAEA as SPND) and under the AMAD (weapons program) to build atomic warheads. The new images of the above-ground facility show that main buildings have been completed.
The confidential source for the Kahlili report on the secret facility notes:
According to a source who has been in the underground facility, military trucks covered with tarps for disguise have transferred equipment with “radiation warning” signs to the facility. An entrance on the side of the so-called medicine factory leads to the underground facility. Another entrance to the underground facility, according to the source, is far to the north of the “medicine factory.” Large equipment has been observed being transferred through the entrance, which is almost a third of the actual size of the factory itself.
Kahlili notes the assessment of the imagery from Peter Fry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security:
These photos of the facility in Iran have all the earmarks of an elaborate attempt to conceal an underground complex of significant size and strategic purpose by hiding it under a legitimate factory, concealing the original excavations, and elaborate and costly landscaping to screen everything from public view.
Because an Iranian source of proven reliability claims this is a previously unknown nuclear facility, the allegation should be taken very seriously and regarded as credible. Iran has a long history of successfully concealing its nuclear weapons program and nuclear facilities. What we know about is probably only the tip of the iceberg. Iran’s nuclear weapons program may well be larger, more sophisticated and more advanced than is generally suspected.
Kahlili notes the Revolutionary Guard control of the secret facility and its purposes:
The site operates under the control of the Revolutionary Guards to expand research and development of nuclear, plutonium and atomic warheads. Its activities include:
•Enriching uranium to weapons grade.
•Testing a neutron detonator and implosion system (chemical explosive lens). As a result of research at this facility, a test was done at Iran’s Parchin military site several months ago. After the revelation of the high-explosives experiment activity, Iran started to clean up the site but continues to stonewall on the IAEA’s request to inspect the Parchin site.
•Designing and building a nuclear warhead to arm Iran’s Shahab-3 ballistic missile.
•Separating plutonium for a plutonium implosion-type fission bomb.
Iran’s heavy-water reactor near the city of Arak is nearing completion and is capable of providing spent fuel that, once processed, could produce plutonium for nuclear bombs. The separation of plutonium from fuel is an easy process requiring dual-use off-the-shelf equipment that Iran has already purchased.
The source indicated that Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi’s atomic warhead project seeks to build three nuclear warheads in its initial phase. Tests of the implosion system and neutron generator, the source said, have been successful and the design of the nuclear warhead is nearly complete.
Reza Kahlili’s latest report indicates that the Iranian Islamic Republic is rushing forward with development of nuclear warheads at secret facilities beyond the monitoring of the IAEA. The Arak heavy water reactor should raise additional concern about Iran’s nuclear program having a two track means of developing nuclear devices via enriched uranium and plutonium via spent rods.
This report also should raise the concerns in both Washington and Jerusalem about addressing Iran’s growing missile threat both internally and externally.