And today the New York Times (2/15/12) tells readers this about Iran's nuclear program:
The new uranium enrichment plant, known as Fordo, has raised Western concerns because it is buried deep underground, making it more impervious to scrutiny.
That struck me as odd, since Fordo is, like other Iranian nuclear facilities, regularly inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency. And the Times seems to know this, since a few paragraphs later, correspondent Rick Gladstone reported:
Last month, inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, confirmed that Iran had started uranium enrichment at Fordo.
The "problem" with Fordo is not that it is "impervious to scrutiny." The problem is that it could be very difficult to bomb. (The facility is "in a bunker that Israeli intelligence estimates is 220 feet deep, beyond the reach of even the most advanced bunker-busting bombs possessed by the United States," as the Times magazine recently reported.)
Elsewhere in the paper, the Times casually notes that "Iranian saber rattling is increasing the sense of instability in the Middle East."