Vahid Salemi/AP
Bushehr nuclear power plant in Bushehr, Iran, 750 miles southwest of Tehran (AP)

Kuwaiti Paper Says Iran Establishing Secret Nuclear Reactor

July 31, 2008 11:19 AM
by Josh Katz
A Kuwaiti daily newspaper reports that Iran has been developing a secret nuclear reactor in the southwest since last year, for the production of nuclear bombs.

30-Second Summary

On July 29, 2008, the Kuwaiti publication Al-Siyassa cited reports from allegedly “highly reliable sources,” claiming that Iran was building a nuclear reactor in the Al-Zarqan Area in the southwest of the country near its border with Iraq. The Kuwait Arab Times reprinted the story in English.

Sources told the paper that the formation of the “secret nuclear bomb manufacturing center” began between 2000 and 2003. Iran allegedly “vacated the location, destroyed all the houses, wells and farms, and started full implementation of the project in 2007.” A wall about 10 feet high reputedly surrounds the site.

Iran did not inform the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about the plant at Geneva negotiations earlier in July, diverting attention to other nuclear power plants, the report claims.

Sources said the Iranian government pointed international nuclear inspectors to the Darkhovin (spelled “Dour Khawain” by Al-Siyassa) and Bu Shahri reactors instead, for example, but “the Iranian government is currently working on another nuclear program touted to be more dangerous than Bu Shahri,” according to Al-Siyassa. The secret site is in a more densely populated location than the Dour Khawain plant, “making it a very difficult target due to a possibility that the Iranian authorities will use civilians as human shields,” the newspaper reports.

Tensions in the area have been escalating with the rumors that Israel might launch an attack on Iran to stymie Iran’s nuclear enrichment activities. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently met with officials in the United States to gauge America’s feelings on a strike, with the officials not ruling out the military option.

Headline Links: Al-Siyassa mentions secret Iranian nuclear facility

Background: Iran’s nuclear enrichment; the possibility of Israeli retaliation


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