Iran is holding three suspects who entered the country from Azerbaijan under intense grilling to discover their role in the mid-August explosion of the power lines to the underground uranium enrichment site at Fordo, DEBKAfile’s exclusive Iranian sources reveal. Tehran is also questioning the engineers, planners and company heads who built the facility to find out why it was not provided with an independent power generator.
Fordo was forced to be idle for several days until the Revolutionary Guards were able to set up an alternative electrical network at top speed. Iranian investigators suspect that local builders of Fordo may have been bribed by Israeli and American agents to omit this back-up system and so leave the enrichment plant vulnerable to external attack that would interrupt its continuous operation. Their inquiries have even reached the Atomic Energy Commission inspectors who supervised construction, some of them very close to the commission’s chairman Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, and demanded explanations for letting the omission stand.
The act of sabotage showed Iran how simple it would for aggressors to bring the Fordo plant to a total standstill simply by cutting its 40- kilometer power link to the Qom power station. An electricity cut would additionally disarm the facility’s security system, including the radar and air defense batteries guarding it.
According to DEBKAfile’s sources, the Iranians have kept the three arrests under tight blackout in the hope of rounding up the rest of the team suspected of responsibility for the explosion and, above all, identifying the hand behind it. Their main suspect is Israel.