Qom Site Layout

May 1, 2018

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear


David Albright and Frank Pabian


Institute for Science and International Security

Overlaying a schematic from the AMAD archive on the Qom, now called the Fordow, deeply buried enrichment plant. This plant was built in secret by Iran in the mid-2000s and publicly exposed by Britain, France, and the United States in 2009.


  • The schematic matches the entrances and expected layout of the deeply buried Qom uranium enrichment plant.
  • Iran calls this site the Fordow facility, and it is constrained from operating centrifuges there by the Iran nuclear deal. However, this facility still exists, largely intact, and can be re-opened on short notice.
  • The schematic is an AMAD document, showing that the origin of this plant was in the Iranian nuclear weapons program, a fact we have long assessed but is now proven.
  • Because the Qom plant was designed in the AMAD program, it was likely intended to make highly enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.
  • It is deeply buried and located at a military site; it was built under intense secrecy.
  • Its public revelation in 2009 by Britain, France, and the United States derailed Iran’s ability to make weapon-grade uranium at this secret site. Locating the site was not easy.
  • Iran was building this plant at a time when US intelligence agencies were stating that Iran’s nuclear weapons program had ended. The linkage of this facility to the AMAD program provides new evidence that in 2009 Iran was actually planning to create a facility in secret to make the raw ingredient for nuclear weapons, namely weapon-grade uranium.


Read the full report at the Institute for Science and International Security