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Friday, August 23, 2013

ISIS: Iran doing more construction at Parchin

This ISIS image shows suspected cleanup activities at a building alleged to contain a high-explosive chamber used for nuclear weapon tests in the Parchin military complex in Iran [Archive]
Photo credit: ISIS / AP
The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) says that Iran is covering more of the suspected nuclear testing facility at Parchin with asphalt, making it more difficult to identify activity that previously took place at the facility.

The Institute for Science and International Security released four new satellite images Thursday, showing what ISIS analysts said was "progressive asphalting" of an area of the Parchin military complex, which the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency has said was a possible location for testing conventional explosive triggers for a nuclear blast.

Photos of the Parchin compound dated from Dec. 12, 2011, to Aug. 13 this year and show a gradually increasing area of what appears to be blacktop around structures, with only about a quarter remaining bare in the last image.
Alluding to earlier satellite photos indicating dismantling of buildings, apparent hosing down of the area in what the IAEA fears may be an attempt to wash away evidence, and other work, ISIS said the images "clearly document activities at the Parchin site that are completely unrelated to any road-building activity."
Iran has said the asphalting is part of regular maintenance and road work. But with its probe blocked -- and signs of other activity -- IAEA concerns have grown that this might be an attempt to cover up work on a weapons program while Iran keeps inspectors away.
What could go wrong?

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