An explosion deep within Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility has destroyed much of the installation and trapped about 240 personnel deep underground, according to a former intelligence officer of the Islamic regime.
The previously secret nuclear site has become a center for Iran’s nuclear activity because of the 2,700 centrifuges enriching uranium to the 20-percent level. A further enrichment to weapons grade would take only weeks, experts say.
The level of enrichment has been a major concern to Israeli officials, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly has warned about the 20-percent enriched stockpile.
The explosion occurred Monday, the day before Israeli elections weakened Netanyahu’s political control.
Iran, to avoid alarm, had converted part of the stockpile to fuel plates for use in the Tehran Research Reactor. However, days after the recent failed talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iranian officials announced the enrichment process will not stop even “for a moment.”