U.S. nuclear expert finds Iran explosive site in imagery

WASHINGTON Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:50pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. non-proliferation expert said on Tuesday he has identified a building at the Parchin military site in Iran suspected of containing, currently or previously, a high-explosive test chamber the U.N. nuclear watchdog wants to visit.

David Albright, founder of the Institute for Science and International Security, said he studied commercial satellite imagery and found a building located on a relatively small and isolated compound at Parchin that fit a description in the November 2011 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report.

The building has its own perimeter security wall or fencing and there is a berm between the building and a neighboring building, Albright said in a report.

The compound is located more than four kilometers away from high-explosive related facilities at Parchin which the IAEA visited in 2005, Albright's report said.

Iran refused access to Parchin, southeast of Tehran, during two rounds of talks with IAEA inspectors. Western diplomats say Iran may be delaying access to give it time to sanitize the facility of any incriminating evidence of explosive tests that would indicate efforts to design nuclear weapons.

"We have information that some activity is ongoing there," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said recently, referring to Parchin.

The IAEA has evidence that the test chamber was placed at Parchin in 2000 and that a building was subsequently constructed around it, Albright's report said.

The information was that a large explosive test chamber was used to conduct experiments possibly related to the development of nuclear weapons in the early years after 2000, Albright said.

He was not able to gauge the level of activity at this particular site without comparing it to multiple images over a short period of time.

The ISIS report and satellite imagery can be found here here

(Reporting By Tabassum Zakaria; editing by Todd Eastham)

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Comments (19)
Grant_X wrote:
Anyone remember the story of the Bush that cried wolf?

It is really tough for me to believe any country is a threat to the US anymore. They must have something (oil) or control over something (oil) that we want.

Mar 13, 2012 8:45pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
redbird wrote:
We didn’t go into Iraq for oil. If we wanted oil, all we had to do was agree to drop sanctions in exchange for oil. It was the French and Russians that were getting oil kickbacks from Saddam.

If we went into Iraq for oil, why haven’t we seen a single drop of it? The intelligence was definitely faulty on Iraq (by the whole world, not just the U.S.), and it should be questioned here as well. But you only need half a brain to realize that we didn’t go into Iraq for oil. But the conspiracy brain is a tough nut to crack.

Mar 13, 2012 9:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Suspicions of more WMD’s ? Flip a coin ?

Mar 13, 2012 9:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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