IAEA arrives in Iran to investigate new satellite imagery that shows construction at Parchin

According to a U.S.think tank, imagery shows ‘steady pace’ of reconstruction at the military site that’s linked to suspected nuclear activity & which the UN nuclear inspector’s team is still attempting to gain access to.


A U.S. think tank published satellite imagery on Wednesday which it said shows ongoing construction at Iran’s Parchin military complex, a site linked to suspected nuclear activity. The publication came just ahead of the arrival of a UN nuclear inspector’s team in Tehran on Thursday.
Satellite imagery of Iran's Parchin military complex, taken on December 9, 2012.

Satellite imagery of Iran’s Parchin military complex, taken on December 9, 2012. – Photo by DigitalGlobe – ISIS

The Institute for Science and International Security said that an image taken on December 9 shows “a steady pace of what appears to be the ‘reconstruction’ phase” of a site that had undergone considerable alterations between April and July 2012,  including demolition of buildings and movement of earth.

“A new site layout is taking shape and the presence of dirt piles and a considerable number of earth moving vehicles and cars suggest that construction is continuing at a steady pace,” the think tank said.

The December 9 image shows “what appears to be a new, almost completed security perimeter around the site,” as well as two major buildings “covered with white or gray roofing,” according to the think tank.

The International Atomic Energy Agency team’s one-day visit to Tehran on Thursday is an effort to engage Iran on the nuclear issue and secure access to Parchin.

DigitalGlobe - ISIS

Commercial satellite imagery from December 9, 2012 showing ongoing construction at Iran’s Parchin military complex. – Photo by DigitalGlobe – ISIS

Iran’s official IRNA news agency said Thursday that the seven-member team, headed by Herman Nackaerts, a deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, would meet with Iranian nuclear officials.

The report says the two sides will try to reach a framework for restarting talks on Iran’s nuclear program.

The IAEA has demanded for over a year to visit Parchin military site, which the agency says could have been used for experiments related to nuclear weapons. Iran insists the site is only a conventional military facility.

The West suspects Iran is trying to make a nuclear weapon. Tehran denies the charge.


View original HAARETZ publication at: http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/as-iaea-arrives-in-iran-new-satellite-imagery-purports-to-show-construction-at-parchin-1.484597