Parchin Spring Cleaning

When I first saw the latest satellite image of April 9 of a suspect building at the Parching military complex where 10 years ago Iran might have conducted illicit experiments using a high-explosive  test chamber as reported in the November 2011 safeguards report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), I instantly had to think of spring cleaning. So did Spencer Ackerman at Wired. Lots of water is apparently running and it appears that several small items have been moved outside the building. David Albright and Paul Brannan of the Washington based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) show, in comparison, images taken on 4 March 2012 and 28 July 2011, apparently lacking any activity. IAEA delegated had been denied access to the complex twice this year, in January and February. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano had already expressed concern that the IAEA has “information that some activity is ongoing there [at Parchin].”

It would have been helpful if Albright and Brannan had provided, in comparison, images of other buildings of the huge complex showing lack of similar cleansing rather than images of March (before the Iranian New Year festival of Nowruz) or July (summer).

Publication of the new satellite image at Parchin was in coincidence with the suspicious death of an IAEA inspector two days ago in a car accident near Arak when on a mission to visit Iran’s nuclear complex at Khondab in the Markazi province. There have already been unsubstantiated speculations about “some form of retribution” in sort of response to recent killings of nuclear scientists in Iran by Jeffrey Lewis at ArmsControlWonk.

Last modified May 11, 2012.

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