Just two weeks after the “accidental” explosion at the Iranian Shahb-3 missile site that killed the regime’s top missile engineer (and at least 16 other IRGC members), there’s been another “accidental” explosion in Isfahan, where there is a uranium conversion site. There’s been so many “accidents” and suspicious murders in Iran targeting nuclear scientists, missile bases, centrifuge farms and gas pipelines in recent years, that it’s hard to keep track. But one thing is for sure: The pace of these “accidents” has sharply increased.
According to Haaretz, Iranian officials confirmed that there was an explosion in Isfahan, but then removed the news report after the Israeli press picked it up. They then issued a flurry of denials and conflicting accounts. One news agency said that the explosion happened at a gas station. The official stance of the regime is that no explosion happened and the Pentagon and IAEA say they did not detect one.
As for that November 12 explosion at the Iranian ballistic missile site (where some reports say is related to warhead development), new satellite photos show that the site was “effectively destroyed.” A very convenient accident, don’t you think?
The Institute for Science and International Security says that the explosion happened shortly after Iran made a breakthrough in its missile development, possibly related to its engine. The Israeli website Debkafile, which is very hit-or-miss, reported that the explosion happened as Iran was preparing to screw a warhead onto a missile.
Meanwhile, the director of Israel’s military-intelligence research department, summarized where Iran is at in nuclear weapons creation. He said that Iran has installed 8,000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment, about 6,000 of which are running. Iran has 50 tons of low-enriched uranium, including about 100 kg of uranium enriched to 20%.
He said that Iran needs 220kg of 20% enriched uranium that must then be further enriched to 90% to become the fuel for a nuclear bomb. So, according to his estimation, we still have some time, but not much. From what I’ve read, Israeli officials believe that Iran could get a nuke by mid-2012. This assumes that aren’t any further delays from “accidents.”