Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 21, 2012

A "False Wall In A Tehran Clock Factory" - Huh?

This blog has followed the allegations about Iran's nuclear program for years and even debunked some of them. I though I had heard of all the western talking points.

But there is now, apparently, something I did not know.

A report in today's New York Times about some interview an Iranian official gave includes these allegations:

Iran hid the construction of its Natanz nuclear enrichment plant — until it was revealed by a dissident group — as well as its construction of centrifuges to enrich uranium, until inspectors acting on a tip found them behind a false wall in a Tehran clock factory.

Iran revealed a deep underground site in 2009 only when it became clear that the West had discovered it and was about to announce its existence.

Iran did not have to announce the building of the enrichment plant in Natanz to the IAEA until six month before introducing nuclear material into it. It did not break its NTP obligation by building the plant. The 2009 construction of the plant near Qom was revealed by Iran in a letter to the IAEA. Only days after that letter was send did the U.S. government claim that it had known about this secret site. Again, Iran did not break any rules on this.

But what about that "false wall in a Tehran clock factory"? I have never ever heard about that and a quick search on the Internet does not find anything about that.

Is this a new David Sanger phantasy or is there something real behind that?

Could someone please enlighten me on this issue?

Posted by b on September 21, 2012 at 02:49 AM | Permalink

Comments

Could someone please enlighten me on this issue?

Not me, but, like you, I wait eagerly for more details. It is quite amazing that whatever Iran does in accordance with its obligations under the NPT, any new announcement is immediately spun by the US govt as a violation and how the US press, especially the NYT, picks that up and amplifies the charge. There is obviously some kind of information that US intelligence (or Israeli?) passed on to Sanger about this hidden wall in a clock factory that will soon be revealed.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 21, 2012 3:47:41 AM | 1

Well, the first instance I can find of Sanger referring to Iranian clock factories is this one:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/14/world/middleeast/14diplo.html

The money-shot: "First among them is a large manufacturing site in downtown Tehran, a former clock factory, where Iran is producing many of the next-generation centrifuges that it is installing in the underground plant at Natanz. 'The facility is very large,' one United Nations inspector said last week, 'and we have not been inside since last summer.' "

Sooooo, apparently, this clock factory is "very large", but not so large that the Iranians can't hide the centrifuge assembly line "behind a false wall".

Sanger never ceases to amaze.

IAEA would tend to notice the sudden appearence of centrifuges in Iranian processing sites, and would certainly have asked the Iranians where those centrifuges came from.

Apparently the Iranians were planning to reply "why, they fell from the sky!" only some bastard tipped off the IAEA to look behind that wall.

Bizarre. Utterly and completely bizarre.


Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 21, 2012 4:16:59 AM | 2

Here ya' go. Sanger was referring to this:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iran/tehran-kalaye.htm

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 21, 2012 4:29:08 AM | 3

:)


Shopping for Bombs: Nuclear Proliferation, Global Insecurity, and the Rise and Fall of the A.Q. Khan Network
- Page 71 - Google Books
Gordon Corera - 2006 - Biography & Autobiography

... The Iranians would later claim that it was simply a clock factory, but ...

Centrifuge disclosure illustrates value of Additional Protocol 88
4 May 2011 –

The recently-disclosed existence an Iranian manufacturing facility ... peaceful nature of Iranian nuclear program and illustrates the value of the ... 2002 through a company named Kalaye Electric, originally a clock factory which ...

Saudi Gazette
21 SEP 2012

The Europeans are also involved in the proposals that would allow Iran to continue ... with Iran to press for interim steps toward suspension of its nuclear activities, ...

First among them is a large manufacturing site in downtown Tehran, a former clock factory, where Iran is producing many of the next-generation centrifuges that it is installing in the underground plant at Natanz. “The facility is very large,” one United Nations inspector said last week, “and we have not been inside since last summer.”...

Posted by: Outraged | Sep 21, 2012 4:51:55 AM | 4

Okay, Kalaye once was a clock factory but later did build centrifuge component parts.

But I have found nothing about "centrifuges behind hidden walls" there. Even this quite detailed piece has nothing about that: Centrifuge disclosure illustrates value of Additional Protocol

Posted by: b | Sep 21, 2012 5:11:49 AM | 5

Oops!

Corrected link for Pg71 & Pg229 of above Gordon Carera 2006 book on the Khan network.

Posted by: Outraged | Sep 21, 2012 5:13:35 AM | 6

T'would appear the NY Times simply invented the 'behind a false wall' claim as a bit of catchy 'colourful language', out of 'whole cloth' ...

Posted by: Outraged | Sep 21, 2012 5:31:19 AM | 7

b - drink some strong coffee! Gladstone, Hauser, et al quoted "an article on the Web site of Al Hayat, a pan-Arab newspaper in Britain that is considered the leading daily of the Arab diaspora". Actually, it is considered the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid Bin Sultan. It's should be regarded as authoritative as Die Stuermer.

Posted by: blowback | Sep 21, 2012 6:58:22 AM | 8

Well, centrifuges are one thing.

But clocks?

I didn't know those nasty ragheads were makin' clocks! We better bomb the shit out of 'em before its too late....

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 21, 2012 8:21:44 AM | 9

Referring to the facgtory as a "clock facgtory" makes the Iranian seems ever more devious and nefarious.

When, in actuality, Sanger is being devious and nefarious.'

Now, was there really any testing of nuclear material at the Kalaye Electic "large facility"? That would seem a bit unsafe and unwise, being so near to the capitol, no? Or was it stuff more like medical nuclear materials which can be safely carried and stored in proper containers? Prior to putting it into people for testing and giving them little cards explaining why they set off radiation detectors....

Posted by: jawbone | Sep 21, 2012 9:08:27 AM | 10

@ 10-- Amazing I could make the same typo twice in "factory"!

Posted by: jawbone | Sep 21, 2012 11:47:08 AM | 11

Why did Iran allow inspectors into a centrifuge factory? --That's the question. On a previous thread I described how the exclusive purpose of the IAEA, according to the NPT, is verification "of the fulfillment of its obligations assumed under this Treaty with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy." Accordingly, the IAEA inspectors have no authority to visit centrifuge factories or missile plants. It's none of their business. The host country might invite them to visit a facility that is not processing nuclear fuel, as Iran has done in the past by inviting the IAEA to visit the Parchin military base, but there is no requirement to do so.

The NPT specifies that IAEA inspections of nuclear fuel processing be covered under a safeguards agreement. Here are the applicable sections of the Iran Safeguards Agreement.

WHEREAS paragraph 1 of Article III of the Treaty reads as follows:
"Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes to accept safeguards, as set forth in an agreement to be negotiated and concluded with the International Atomic Energy Agency in accordance with the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Agency's safeguards system, for the exclusive purpose of verification of the fulfilment of its obligations assumed under this Treaty with a view to preventing diversion of nuclear energy from peaceful uses to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. Procedures for the safeguards required by this Article shall be followed with respect to source or special fissionable material whether it is being produced, processed or used in any principal nuclear facility or is outside any such facility. The safeguards required by this Article shall be applied on all source or special fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities within the territory of such State, under its jurisdiction, or carried out under its control anywhere".

The Government of Iran undertakes, pursuant to paragraph 1 of Article III of the Treaty, to accept safeguards, in accordance with the terms of this Agreement, on all source or special fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities within its territory, under its jurisdiction or carried out under its control anywhere, for the exclusive purpose of verifying that such material is not diverted to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 21, 2012 11:56:36 AM | 12

The New York Times focus on the Iran centrifuges which are used to enrich uranium under full UN supervision is meant to distract people from the huge US nuclear weapon stockpile and US treaty violation.

The US, like Iran, is a party to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT). The NPT was signed at Washington, London, and Moscow on July 1, 1968 and entered into force March 5, 1970, forty-two years ago.
The NPT, Article VI:

Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

In violation of the NPT, the US still stocks over 5,000 nuclear warheads. The United States stores its nuclear weapons at 21 locations in 13 states and five European countries. The United States maintains roughly 200 nonstrategic nuclear-armed B-61 gravity bombs at six bases in five nations: Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey.

These warheads aren't secure. In July three peace activists infiltrated the highly sensitive “Protected Area” at the Energy Department’s Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The protesters, including an 82-year-old nun, cut through three perimeter fences and reportedly defaced with human blood the wall of a facility containing highly enriched uranium, a material used in nuclear warheads. Detecting the intruders’ presence was hampered by a broken security camera and alarms that were switched off. The Energy Department’s inspector general last month rebuked Y-12 security for failing to more quickly apprehend the trespassers, who ultimately walked up to guards and surrendered.

Similar infiltrations by activists have occurred in recent years at European nuclear bases. Members of a Belgian organization, Peace Action, said in 2010 it had repeatedly breached perimeter security at Kleine Brogel Air Base, northeast of Brussels.

The US stocks these weapons and apparently it has no intention of disarming, in accordance with the NPT. In 2008 the US Air Force added an assistant chief of staff in charge of nuclear weapons. According to a recent news report:

Four years later the new position is paying dividends. Maj. Gen. Donald Alston, since retired, took over the position on Nov. 1, 2008 after internal reports blasted the service for not having a headquarters position dedicated solely to nuclear weapons. Alston’s first job was cleaning up the mess left by so many years of nuclear negligence on the part of Air Force leadership following the end of the Cold War. . .Fast forward four years and the discourse inside the Pentagon is dominated by defense spending cuts and the threat of sequestration. Establishing an assistant chief of staff dedicated to nuclear issues has given the nuclear community a seat at the table when it comes time to discuss the budget. Nuclear issues previously got folded under other portfolios.

How is it paying off? Recent news report:
U.S. nuclear arsenal upgrade to cost at least $350 billion - Washington - The Obama administration's modernization plan includes upgrading over 5,000 nuclear warheads and refurbishing storage facilities. Delivery systems for the weapons need to be replaced.
The U.S. has 5,113 nuclear warheads each of which could wipe out most of a major city. U.S. priorities are clear. While the U.S. debt is in the trillions and the country faces a fiscal cliff, it is regarded as imperative that all these weapons be retained and even upgraded.
The cost estimate of slightly more than $350 billion comes from the Stimson Center. The program is to last a decade. The Government Accounting Office (GAO) places the plan on a high-risk list for fraud, waste, and abuse. No doubt politicians will applaud the scheme as producing jobs and make sure that some of the work is channeled to their own constituencies.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 21, 2012 2:48:18 PM | 13

Speaking of walls ...

“When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.

“Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.”

http://www.salem-news.com/articles/may282012/fleming-senate-ef.php

Posted by: m_s | Sep 21, 2012 5:08:53 PM | 14

well, did you cover the Silex laser enrichment one?

I came across that information in connection with the al Hilli murder.

Die Welt where this comes from is Springer variant "neocon" in line with Israel most of the times, however I do find it likely that agreed IAEA procedures are out of date technology wise.

"Laser uranium enrichment is so attractive that that it will be implemented --- and Iran will become the test case. What must be demanded is the complete opening of the country to appropriate inspection. Anything else would be too little – much too little." Hans Ruhle

The attempt to dominate the Middle East with a few million technologically advanced Israelis is ridiculous.


Posted by: somebody | Sep 21, 2012 6:11:44 PM | 15

Some thing NEVER change

For example, one thing we can ALWAYS be sure of is that whatever the latest bullshit designed to make some muslims somewhere look bad, the arsehole called "somebody" will be pimping that shit like there's no tomorrow

It doesn't matter how ridiculous, moronic etc these Anti-Muslim memes are, the arsehole called "somebody" will pimp them regardless.

Posted by: Hu Bris | Sep 22, 2012 6:14:07 AM | 16

It sounds like vials of botulin in fridges and trailers for weather balloons that are supposed to be for WMD.

Iran hid the construction of its Natanz nuclear enrichment plant — until it was revealed by a dissident group — as well as its construction of centrifuges to enrich uranium, until inspectors acting on a tip found them behind a false wall in a Tehran clock factory.

Seems to mean camouflage of centrifuges in a clock factory in Tehran. Nothing to do with Natanz.

There seems to be only three clock factories in Tehran (intertubes) and Tehran imports most of its clocks, I found out, gee.

VENOUS CLOCK MFG. CO. - JAHAN AVA MFG. & IND. CO. who make clocks, table clocks, and mincers.

Plus MAHAN ZAMAN WALL CLOCK FACTORY.

clocks here:

The AEOI conducted most of its testing operations before 2002 through a company named Kalaye Electric, originally a clock factory which it acquired in the 1990s. > Kalaye is in Tehran.

http://www.armscontrolverification.org/2011/05/our-intern-mikael-shirazi-has-written.html

(same as quoted above)

I think KALAYE must be the origin of this garbled news:

See this page, > page 186, Goog, of the book, Iran’s weapons of mass destruction, by Cordesman and Al-Rodhan.

http://tinyurl.com/bp2ocxr

Mention renovations, hiding and the like.


Posted by: Noirette | Sep 22, 2012 11:13:23 AM | 17

Via Zero Hedge:

Iran Accuses German Siemens Of Sabotaging Its Nuclear Plant

[...] the stunning admission that none other than German industrial conglomerate, and occasional maker of nuclear power plants, Siemens was reponsible for "implanting tiny explosives inside equipment the Islamic Republic purchased for its disputed nuclear program. Prominent lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi said Iranian security experts discovered the explosives and removed them before detonation, adding that authorities believe the booby-trapped equipment was sold to derail uranium enrichment efforts. "The equipment was supposed to explode after being put to work, in order to dismantle all our systems," he said. "But the wisdom of our experts thwarted the enemy conspiracy."

Expert wisdom aside, what is stunning is not the ongoing attempts by everyone and the kitchen sink to terminally corrupt the Iranian nuclear power plant: after Stuxnet one would expect nothing less than every form of conventional and "new normal" espionage thrown into the pot to cripple the only peaceful argument Iran would have for demanding nuclear power, which by implication would mean that all ongoing nuclear pursuits are geared solely toward aggressive, military goals, of the type that demand immediate military retaliation by the democratic superpowers. No, what is stunning is the implicit admission that Germany's, and Europe's, largest electrical engineering company, has been not only quietly transacting with none other than world peace (as portrayed by the MSM) enemy #1, Iran, but instrumental in its nuclear program.

Posted by: Juan Moment | Sep 23, 2012 5:29:57 AM | 18

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