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Iran discovers and destroys listening device at Fordow nuclear site

The device was discovered last month but news of the discovery surfaced today with a story in the Sunday Times quoting Western intelligence sources.

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The head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Fereydoun Abbasi Davani attends a ceremony in Tehran on September 6, 2011. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran said that it discovered and destroyed a listening device near the Fordow nuclear site near Qom.

The device was discovered last month but news of the discovery surfaced today with a story in the Sunday Times quoting Western intelligence sources.

(The Sunday Times remains behind a paywall and thus we've included an indirect link to the Jerusalem Post quoting the British newspaper for easier access).

The story goes on to say that Iran's Revolutionary Guard stumbled upon the device after moving a stone, which exploded in an apparent self-destruction.

Iran has not commented on the bizarre incident but the news comes at the heels of accusations by Iran's vice-president and head of its nuclear agency Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, that explosive devices had cut power to the nuclear facility in mid-August.

The vice-president claims that the German electronics and electrical engineering company giant Siemens implanted tiny explosives into equipment that Iran purchased for use at its nuclear facilities, said Haaretz.

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Iran said it had defused the rest of the bombs.

"The equipment was supposed to explode after being put to work, in order to dismantle all our systems," said Abbasi-Davani, reported Haaretz.

"But the wisdom of our experts thwarted the enemy conspiracy."

Siemens denied the accusation and said that it had not done business with Iran's nuclear division since 1979.

Fordow is an underground uranium enrichment facility in Iran, said BBC.

In September 2009, Western intelligence sources discovered the Fordow fuel enrichment facility and presented evidence in front of the IAEA - the treaty monitoring organization for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The Fordow facility enriches uranium to 20 percent (90 percent is needed for weapons-grade fissile material) and is built nearly 300 feet underground to protect against military strikes.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/120923/iran-discovers-and-destroys-listening-device-at-fordow