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Report: Second Large Explosion in Iran

By & Ha'

Reports from Iran Monday said a large explosion was heard in Isfahan, where several key nuclear facilities are located, including a uranium enrichment plant. Isfahan is one of the largest cities in Iran.

If accurate, the reported blast would be the second in nearly as many weeks, following an explosion that left 17 members of an elite Iranian army unit dead. That first explosion occurred at a military base outside the village of Bidganeh, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Tehran and destroyed a missile base near the Iranian capital. An Iranian source later blamed Israel's Mossad agency for the blast.

Among those who were killed in the blast was Brigadier Hassan Moghadam, a researcher at a Tehran university who headed the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' missile development program and the "Jihad Self-Reliance" unit.

The official Iranian FARS news agency initially reported on its website Monday that a loud blast was heard in the city at 2:40 p.m. local time. The report said that search and rescue teams were called to the scene but did not describe any injuries. A security official confirmed the explosion at the time, saying he had not received "exact information" but that the event was "under investigation."

However, within the hour, the report was deleted from the news agency's website. Subsequent inquiries by Iran's Mehr news agency received a denial by the deputy governor of Isfahan province that there had been any explosion in the area.

An Iranian official later said that the blast\ was caused by an accident during a nearby military drill, "There is no such thing, the blast was entirely from the military maneuver," the Iranian official said. According to initial reports earlier Monday, frightened residents called the fire department after the blast, forcing the city authorities to admit there had been an explosion.

Speaking with Fars news agency, Isfahan's deputy mayor confirmed the reports and said the authorities are investigating the matter. However, after the incident was reported in Israel, the report was taken off the Fars website. It seems that city authorities and the Iranian government were embarrassed by the reports of a blasts, releasing contradictory versions of the alleged events. One example is a statement given by the same deputy mayor to the Mehr news agency, saying he had no reports of an explosion.

Since 2004, thousands of kilograms of uranium fluoride gas has been stockpiled at Isfahan and subsequently sent to the enrichment plant in Natanz.

Earlier Monday, a top Israeli security official said that the recent explosion that rocked an Iranian missile base near Tehran could delay or stop further Iranian surface-to-surface missile development. The official added, however that the Iranian nuclear program was continuing to gain ground, despite considerable international pressure and attempts to destabilize the Iranian regime.

Speaking at a meeting of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Ithai Baron, head of the research department of Israel's military intelligence, said that while the blast may have stalled some avenues of Iranian weapons development, it was far from stopping all of the Islamic Republic's options.

Regarding Iran's nuclear program, Baron informed the Knesset committee that Tehran was continuing its advancement "despite extensive pressure applied on it, intelligence attempts, the state of the Iranian economy, and the potential to destabilize the Iranian regime."

"Iran is regularly operating about 6,000 centrifuges out of the 8,000 it installed. Until now, [Iran] has been able to accumulate 50 tons of low-grade enriched uranium and a little less than 100 kg of uranium enriched at 20% levels," the IDF officials said, adding that the Islamic Republic needed "220kg of 20% enriched uranium to have enough for a nuclear bomb." However, Baron added, it should be noted that 20% enriched uranium still has to be upgraded to 90%" to construct a nuclear weapon.

Muslim in Germany Gives Birth to `Giant Jihad'


If names and weight mean anything, Germany is in trouble. A Muslim gave birth in Berlin to a 13-pound (six kilogram) baby and named him Jihad.

The birth set a record in Germany for the fattest baby every born there. The proud mother, to whom many are not in a hurry to wish a mazal tov, is 40 years old and weighs 528 pounds (240 kilogram). Her name is Taghi and she described her self as a devout Muslim

The Arabic word "jihad" means "struggle" and usually is used in the context of a "holy war: against Israel in specific and the West in general.

For those fearing that the baby will be true to his name, there is a high possibility that he will not grow up to be healthy fighter. "Such a large baby is not a healthy baby," said Dr. Joel Zonszein, professor of clinical medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, quoted by ABC News.

She refused to listen to doctors' advice to deliver the baby through a Caesarean operation, due to the bay's weight and her gestational diabetes. The natural birth took seven hours.

"The mother was irresponsible but lucky in the way she handled her pregnancy and the delivery. A mother who has 14 children should know better," he added. "Jihad" will not be alone in the family, which includes nine brothers and four sisters as the Muslim population continues to threaten to become a majority in several European countries. The largest Muslim population in a European country is in Germany, with approximately 3.5 million Muslims.

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