In a piece about a much discussed satirical article that appeared on an Iranian website and was misinterpreted in "western" media, the Arms Control Wonk Jeffery Lewis writes:
Then there is the issue of Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant. For some reason, Sy [Hersh] doesn’t mention Iran’s effort to construct a covert facility enrichment site near Qom (the so-called Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant).
Hersh, in his recent piece, does not mention the "covert" site because the site was NOT covert or secret at all.
As Iranian news agencies announced on September 24/25 2009:
In line with its guarantee to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for clarity on its nuclear activities, Iran has informed the agency that it is constructing a second plant for uranium enrichment. "I can confirm that on 21 September, Iran informed the IAEA in a letter that a new pilot fuel enrichment plant is under construction in the country," agency spokesman Marc Vidricaire said Friday.
The U.S. admitted that this account is true. As the Washington Post reported:
Their hand was forced, [U.S. intelligence officials] said, by a letter the Iranian government sent to the IAEA in Vienna on Monday.
Iran informing the IAEA was in line with the IAEA rules under the Non-Proliferation Treaty to declare a new site at least 180 days before introducing nuclear material there.
Only five days after Iran informed the IAEA did the U.S. claim that it had knowledge of this site and alleged that it was "secret".
The U.S. claims(!) that it has known about the site. But there is no shroud of evidence offered that this claim is true.
From just the facts the Iranians announced the site to the IAEA on Monday, publicly announced later that week and on the following Friday the US claims that the site was "secret". Without any evidence that claim is as good as claims about Iraqi WMDs were.
By the way: If the U.S. had previous knowledge about that site, why did it not inform the IAEA about it? That would have been its duty and would have helped to bolster its case against Iran.
The publicly available facts say the site was announced properly by Iran under the rules Iran has submitted to. Just because the U.S. claims otherwise does not make that claim true. The wonk should at least admit that much.