Yesterday, inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had been denied access to Parchin, a controversial military site 30 km southeast of Tehran, had to be expected. Iran has, so far and regrettably, not ratified its Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) which would most probably allow IAEA inspectors surprise visits (with a 2-day notice) even of this compound.
Parchin had been under international scrutiny for years and explicitly mentioned in the IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano’s rather controversial November 2011 report on Iran’s nuclear program to the IAEA Board of Governors. It is the site where, “based on information provided by Member States” (of the IAEA, i.e. most probably the CIA; see p 10 of the notorious Annex, para 49) experiments with high-explosives “in the form of a hemispherical shell”, “possibly in association with nuclear materials” (ibid) in a large explosive containment vessel, or chamber, might have been conducted in the early 2000s.
Remarkably, IAEA inspectors were actually allowed to visit the site twice in 2005 (when Iran had voluntarily implemented its Additional Protocol under the NPT; ibid para 50).
“From satellite imagery available at that time, the Agency identified a number of areas of interest, none of which, however, included the location now believed to contain the building which houses the explosives chamber mentioned above; consequently, the Agency’s visits did not uncover anything of relevance.”
The inspectors’ attempt to visit the site forcibly (imposing regulations of the Additional Protocol of the NPT to a member state which has regrettably not ratified the former), thus in a way pushing Iran to come clean just days or week ahead new talks between Iran and World powers P5+1, in fact smells. The upcoming talks are thus likely to fail again.
Ratifying the Additional Protocol is overdue.
The site itself might be too unimportant for Israel for bombing it.
Last modified February 22, 2012.