Just one addition to Jeffrey’s sweet “strike package post”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/952/iran-the-bomb-3-strike-options.
Esfahan has another feature, however, that suggests a serious problem. North of the facility, there are a pair of roads that clearly reveal entrances to tunnels within the mountain. (Der Spiegel claimed the tunnels housed a secret Uranium Conversion Facility.)
Unlike the underground bunkers are Natanz, I am not sure the IC has any idea what is in those tunnels or their precise location beneath the mountain.
Actually, the IAEA has been able to visit the site. Last April, “I wrote”:http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2005_04/Iran_Goldschmidt.asp that:
bq. [then-IAEA DDG Pierre] Goldschmidt also reported that Iran has begun constructing underground tunnels for storing nuclear materials near its uranium-conversion facility. Tehran notified the IAEA about the project, which Iran says began in September 2004, two days before agency inspectors visited the site Dec. 15. According to its safeguards agreement, Iran should have notified the IAEA earlier about the project, Goldschmidt said.
Furthermore, a State Department official said that
bq. Washington is not concerned about Iran conducting clandestine nuclear activities in the tunnels because the site is subject to IAEA monitoring.
“ISIS noted”:http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iran/esfahantunnels.html that the tunnel facility
bq. …appears too big to be only for storage. It might be intended to house production facilities for some uranium conversion processes. It does not appear large enough to be a complete duplicate of the UCF.
Now, over to TPM Cafe…