Nestled within the mountains near the holy city of QOM lies Iran’s worst kept secret, and it could prove the reason for any possible U.S. strike.
David Blair at The Telegraph reports that work on the Great Salt Desert bunker began almost five years ago while under the watchful eye of western intelligence agencies. It didn’t take long for them to decide that Tehran was building a deep underground plant to secretly enrich uranium.
Called the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant and disclosed by Obama in 2009, Iran claims the plant is used for purely civilian purposes.
Blair points out that not only did Iran fail to explain the need for secrecy, the Fordow facility holds only 3,000 centrifuges, not enough, he says, for a public power program, “but just enough to produce weapons-grade uranium for nuclear bombs.”
To fill those 3,000 slots, Tehran started to transfer centrifuges from Natanz into Fordow — buried behind dozens of feet of mountain.
The Air Force’s 30,000 pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator bomb, one of the biggest bombs ever built, may be able to reach the depths necessary to take out the Salt Desert Bunker, but it’s the only one. And the U.S. has the only plane that can deliver it.
Israel’s 5,000 pound GBU-28 bunker buster bomb wouldn’t do the trick, so if left up to them, Iran’s worst secret could continue whatever it’s doing unabated.