Skip to comments.Iran Builds A Secret Underground Complex As Nuclear Tensions Rise
Posted on 03/11/2006 5:14:32 PM PST by blam
Iran builds a secret underground complex as nuclear tensions rise
By Philip Sherwell in Washington
Iran's leaders have built a secret underground emergency command centre in Teheran as they prepare for a confrontation with the West over their illicit nuclear programme, the Sunday Telegraph has been told.
The complex of rooms and offices beneath the Abbas Abad district in the north of the capital is designed to serve as a bolthole and headquarters for the country's rulers as military tensions mount.
Iran uses small attack boats to simulate assaults on US warships
The recently completed command centre is connected by tunnels to other government compounds near the Mossala prayer ground, one of the city's most important religious sites.
Offices of the state security forces, the energy department and the Organisation of Islamic Culture and Communications are all located in the same area.
The construction of the complex is part of the regime's plan to move more of its operations beneath ground. The Revolutionary Guard has overseen the development of subterranean chambers and tunnels - some more than half a mile long and an estimated 35ft high and wide - at sites across the country for research and development work on nuclear and rocket programmes.
The opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) learnt about the complex from its contacts within the regime. The same network revealed in 2002 that Iran had been operating a secret nuclear programme for 18 years.
The underground strategy is partly designed to hide activities from satellite view and international inspections but also reflects a growing belief in Teheran that its showdown with the international community could end in air strikes by America or Israel. "Iran's leaders are clearly preparing for a confrontation by going underground," said Alireza Jafarzadeh, the NCRI official who made the 2002 announcement.
America and Europe believe that Iran is secretly trying to acquire an atomic bomb, although the regime insists that its nuclear programme is for civilian energy purposes.
As the United Nations Security Council prepares to discuss Iran's nuclear operations this week, Teheran has been stepping up plans for confrontation. Its chief delegate on nuclear talks last week threatened that Iran would inflict "harm and pain" on America if censured by the Security Council.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the hardline president who has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map", also said that the West would "suffer" if it tried to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions. As the war of words intensified, President George W Bush said that Teheran represents a "grave national security concern" for America.
In Iraq, which Mr Ahmadinejad hopes will develop into a fellow Shia Islamic state, Iran is already using its proxy militia to attack British and American forces, often with Iranian-made bombs and weapons. As tensions grow, Teheran could order Hizbollah - the Lebanese-based terror faction that it created and arms - to attack targets in Israel.
The regime is also reviewing its contingency plans to attack tankers and American naval forces in the Persian Gulf and to mine the Strait of Hormuz, through which about 15 million barrels of oil (about 20 per cent of world production) passes each day. Any action in the Gulf would send oil prices soaring - a weapon that Iran has often threatened to wield.
The Pentagon's strategic planning is focused on the danger that Iran might try to mine the strait and deploy explosive-packed suicide boats against its warships. In May, American vessels in the Gulf will take part in the Arabian Gauntlet training exercise that deals with clearing mines from the strait, which has a navigable channel just two miles wide.
The naval wing of the Revolutionary Guard has in recent years practised "swarming" raids, using its flotilla of small rapid-attack boats to simulate assaults on commercial vessels and United States warships, according to Ken Timmerman, an American expert on Iran.
The Pentagon is particularly sensitive to the dangers of such attacks after al-Qaeda hit the USS Cole off the Yemen with a suicide boat in 2000, killing 17 American sailors. Last month the White House listed two foiled al-Qaeda plots to attack ships in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.
US intelligence believes that if Iranian nuclear facilities were attacked by either America or Israel, then Teheran would respond by trying to close the Strait of Hormuz with naval forces, mines and anti-ship cruise missiles.
"When these systems become fully operational, they will significantly enhance Iran's defensive capabilities and ability to deny access to the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz," Michael Maples, the director of the Defence Intelligence Agency testified before the Senate armed services committee last month.
A senior American intelligence officer said that the US navy would be able to reopen the strait but that it would be militarily costly. Hamid Reza Zakeri, a former Iranian intelligence officer, recently told Mr Timmerman that the Iranian navy's Strategic Studies Centre has produced an updated battle plan for the strait.
Its most devastating options would be to use its long-range Shahab-3 missiles to attack Israeli or American bases in the region or to deploy suicide bombers in Western cities under its strategy of "asymmetric" response.
"The price to the West for standing up to Iran is clear," Gen Moshe Ya'alon, the former Israeli defence chief said last month in Washington. "It includes terror attacks, economic hardship
and consequences resulting from fluctuations in Iranian oil production. Indeed, the regime believes that the West - including Israel - is afraid to deal with it."
US Navy planes to use large shells to combat Iranian small boats
Very interesting, i wonder if they would retaliate that much? they expected similar with iraq but nothing really happened.
The complex can't be that secret if its being reported about in the news.
I don't quite understand how we know so much about them, and if this is accurate, why we are just standing by waiting for them to build up their forces even more. I know our current policy, as announced by Secy Rice, is that we hope to destabilize their regime by encouraging dissidents within the country. It seems to me that (even if these dissidents exist in numbers great enough to make a difference) this would take awhile, and it hardly seems that Iran is going to sit around and wait for it.
Telling them we know what they are doing causes chaos and replanning in their ranks.
That's a good point.
The ultimate answer to underground bunkers.
If the word is out that a secret complex is being built then someone knows where it is. If someone knows where it is, so does Israel and probably the US too.
What are we waiting for? Attack Iran now.
Yup. Many FReepers have expressed the same sentiment. By the time internal dissent may have an effect, they'd have nuclear weapons. So... (Smoke & Mirrors by Rice?)
I expect Warthogs will work as well against boats as they do tanks, huh?
If you are looking to mulch them, yes.
I have wondered that, too. It seems like such an illogical "plan" that I am hoping she has something else up her sleeve.
Notice the proximity of the U.A.E. on the map.
I don't give a damn how many Iranian nuke facilities we bombed, I am assuming that if Iran attacks US warships or bases, a a state of war will exist and we will subjugate Iran at that point.
All else is folly. Why would we let Iran add injury to threat by doing any of this stuff, without taking them out. And once we reduce Iran, what major power is a terror threat? None.
Then anywhere they pop up - cordon and go block by block - allowing civvies to walk out to a tent city holding area - anyone else inside is fair game. New tactics which we are familiar with but need to build into any war plan of the future.
Okay. If I asked you to come up with some things that will be unexpected, what would they be and would it/they include Pakistan?
I think it would be both hilarious and educational if the geographic coordinates of this "new and improved" secret underground emergency command centre were published on a map, to include all the tunnels and entrances and exits.
Truly impregnable underground bunkers make really cool and eternal tombs...
How about google earth? Anyone tried that?
Probably relevant - http://www.ngdir.com/MiningInfo/MineDetail.asp?PID=4428
See description of mine..."Comment: Comfortable building , Bunker , Mine office". Includes Lat & Long.
The Abbas Abad district is also regarded as pretty posh and is the location of many foreign banks and business offices. Quite well developed. It makes sense, to these wack jobs at least, to locate a bunker such as this in a neighborhood having these attributes.
But a bumker buster doesn't stop for kebabs on its way down.
Drop the right weapon in the right place and see what blows out the 'in' doors...
I have a feeling we had a deal with the UAE for some useful real estate...
IF we wait until they have nuclear weapons, they WILL use them on the US and Israel. It seems to me the consequences would be much worse in waiting to deal with them. I keep hoping the Iranian people will sense the urgency and overthrow the government. I hate to think those who want freedom would die because we were forced to take out the nuke facilities. They better make their move NOW!!
I expect we still do. They're frightened of Iran as is Saudia Arabia and others in the neighborhood.
Yes, certainly Pakistan can go South on us, but without Iran radical Islam loses a major support base. We may hold Pakistan, and if we lose it we will have more bases from which to take it back. Syria is a problem, but I understand we could mop up Syria rather quickly.
Iran Secretly Expanding Nuke Sites
On their home page, GraphicLens currently features an interactive Flash graphic showing satellite photos of the construction at Natanz since August 2002. This ought to be read in conjuction with this huge story. A senior Pakistani source says that Iran was given uranium enriched enough to be used in nuclear weapons by Pakistan. Meanwhile, the Democrats whine on and on about 'the culture of corruption" and "filibuster" and "Bushitler" ad nauseum. Fiddling while Rome burns. Go to the Democratic websites - see for yourself this stuff isn't even on their radar screen.
There is no way they are going to "test" a nuclear weapon. If they have one, that maniac is going to vaporize whatever part of Israel he can reach. And here's another map I whipped up during a similar Iran nukes discussion,
showing the to-scale size of the 'zones of total devastation' from a variety of nuclear bomb yields, with a map of Israel.
I worry about this and suspect this is why Iran is talking so bullish.
Human shields, Cindy and group hugs will save the day!
I'm inclined to think that their intransigence means they have already assembled one or more warheads that they are confindent will detonate reliably. More's the pity.
That link to a blast map of Israel shows that two Hiroshima-sized weapons will slice Israel in two. Somewhere, among all my links in other posts, is a link to a report by our military drawing the same conclusion. Bad Mooon Risin'...
I'm expecting something unexpected.