From CNN's Jennifer Rizzo
New satellite images of an Iranian military base indicate Iranian efforts to cover evidence of a nuclear weapons program, according to a Washington-based think tank.
The DigitalGlobe images, obtained by the Institute for Science and International Security, were taken last week of Iran's Parchin military base, where international inspectors suspect Iran may have conducted explosives tests connected with a possible nuclear weapons program.
Two small buildings at the suspected testing site have been destroyed. Tracks made by heavy machinery supposedly used in the demolition are visible, according to the institute's analysis.
The group says suspected cleanup activity was also seen in satellite images from April. The two buildings were intact in the previous images.
"The newest image raises concerns that Iran is attempting to raze the site prior to allowing an IAEA visit," said the report. "The razing of the two buildings may also indicate that Iran has no intention to allow inspectors access soon."
The International Atomic Energy Agency has requested access to the site, which the Iranians have so far denied. In a letter sent to Iran in May, the agency expressed concern that extensive activity observed in "buildings of interest" could hamper the inspection process.
By Mark Morgenstein
Iran is not cooperating, making it difficult for the UN's nuclear watchdog agency to provide "credible assurance" that the country doesn't possess undeclared nuclear material, the International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano said Monday.
Speaking to the IAEA's board of governors, Amano said Iran should grant access "without further delay" to the Parchin military complex, where the Islamic Republic is believed to have tested rockets.
Since Iran has not provided such access to date, "The Agency therefore cannot conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities," Amano said.
Amano noted that Iran has recently begun installing IR-2m centrifuges at its fuel enrichment plant at Natanz, and that those high-speed devices that rotate to enrich uranium are more advanced than the previously-installed centrifuges.
The IAEA board has been trying to negotiate cooperation from Iran for years.FULL STORY
By Pam Benson
Recent satellite photos show continued activity at a controversial Iranian military site that international weapons inspectors have repeatedly been denied access to, according to a Washington-based think tank.
The Institute for Science and International Study obtained imagery from DigitalGlobe taken on November 7 that the institute says shows changes in the roofs on two key buildings at the Parchin Military Complex. ISIS also pointed out there is a new addition on the building suspected of containing a high-explosives chamber and piles of dirt not seen in an image taken on September 19.
ISIS said the imagery indicates additional changes will be made to the site, making it more difficult for the international inspectors.
"The considerable amount of new materials, equipment, and rows of earth piles suggest that further construction will be taking place, thus increasing the level of alteration and further degrading the chance of obtaining reliable environmental samples if and when (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspectors gain access to the site," ISIS stated.
Since January, the IAEA has been seeking access to the site, where it suspects Iran may have conducted high-explosives tests related to the development of nuclear weapons. Iran denies that Parchin has any role in its nuclear program.
The latest IAEA report on Iran released earlier this month said the "extensive activities" at the Parchin site are certain to have "seriously undermined" the agency's verification process.
Those activities include "significant ground scraping and landscaping" with new dirt roads.
Iran is not cooperating sufficiently with the United Nations' nuclear watchdog for it to conclude that the country is conducting "peaceful activities," the agency said Friday.
In a 13-page report, the International Atomic Energy Agency said that despite its effort to step up talks with Iran, the nation has offered no "concrete results."
The agency's director general is, in turn, "unable to report any progress on clarifying issues relating to possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme," the report said.
Iran has completed installation of centrifuges at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant, an underground facility, giving it greater capability of enriching uranimum to 20-percent. That would be a key capability if Iran chooses to enrich further to make it weapons grade. Iran has not informed the IAEA how much of the site will be devoted to enriching to 20 percent and how much will be devoted to lower enrichment.
The report said Iran is still not granting inspectors access to the Parchin site, calling it a "matter of concern" that "extensive and significant activities" have taken place there this year. The report lists some of the observed activity at the explosive containment vessel on the site, which the IAEA is concerned could be used to for "possible nuclear weapon development." Iran has said the allegation is "baseless." The new report lists some of the activity observed since February of this year: FULL POST
By Tim Lister
The satellite image shows large pink tarpaulins pulled across two buildings. Close by, it appears that topsoil has been moved and a security fence taken down. The image, taken earlier this week and provided to CNN by DigitalGlobe, is of an Iranian military facility at Parchin, one widely suspected by Western diplomats as a secret part of the country’s nuclear program.
It’s one of several developments on Iran’s nuclear program that worry experts - others being: the failure of another round of talks between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iranian officials; reports that Iran has increased the number of centrifuges enriching uranium; and a drumbeat of warnings from Israel that diplomacy and sanctions aren’t working.
By Larry Shaughnessy
New commercial satellite photos continue to show that Iran is trying to cover up work started at a facility it has been using for high explosives tests related to what the United States believes is that country's nuclear weapons program, according to a former international weapons inspector who has been closely flowing Iran's nuclear ambitions.
"The degree of the site's modification and the fact that this apparent cleanup work started soon after the IAEA's (International Atomic Energy Agency) request for access cast further doubt on Iran's claims that its nuclear program does not or has never had any military aspects," says a report issued by the Institute for Science and International Security and written by the inspector, David Albright, and co-author Robert Avagyan.
In May, satellite photos showed items being moved at that the site, which the institute said had remained unchanged since 2004. The latest photos show a pair of buildings have been knocked down and much of the sight has been cleaned up. The institute said Iran claims the activity is routine construction work.
The site at the Parchin military complex southwest of Terhan is the focus of a dispute between the Iranian government and the IAEA. According to a report by the institute, the IAEA announced last February, it wanted to inspect that site to make sure there had been no testing of high-explosives for nuclear-related purposes.
Iran would not agree to the inspection unless there was an agreement on its entire nuclear program.
By Pam Benson
Recent satellite imagery shows Iran continues to clean up areas of a controversial military site believed to be involved in its nuclear program, according to analysis of the images by a Washington-based think tank.
The Institute for Science and International Study obtained imagery from GeoEye taken on June 7 that shows heavy machinery tracks and earth displacement consistent with a cleanup effort at the Parchin Military Complex, according to the institute's analysis.
GeoEye is a commercial satellite imaging company.
New satellite imagery shows signs of increased activity at a key site in Iran that is the focus of International Atomic Energy Agency suspicions regarding the country's nuclear program, according to an analysis of the image by Washington-based weapons experts.
The DigitalGlobe image of the Parchin site from April 9, 2012 shows a stream of water from the building which is supsected of containing a chamber to conduct explosives testing for potential nuclear weapon, according to the assessment by David Albright and Paul Brannan from the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS). The ISIS analysis also points out items lined outside the building which were not evident in previous satellite images.
The image raises suspicion Iran could be trying to clean out the facility, Albright and Brannan write in the report. FULL POST
By Pam Benson
A Washington think tank says it has identified the building at an Iranian military base where international inspectors suspect Iran may have conducted explosives tests connected with a possible nuclear weapons program.
In an exclusive interview with Security Clearance, David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, said commercial satellite imagery shows a building on the sprawling Parchin military complex just south of Tehran that may be the location of a high-explosive test chamber.
By Elise Labott
Does recent - and rare - praise by Iran's supreme leader for President Barack Obama's efforts to dampen war talk suggest the regime is making an overture toward the United States?
According to Iran's state-run Press TV, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei welcomed Obama's statement that there is a "window of opportunity" to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis through diplomacy, calling such remarks positive. This week, Obama has tried to cool down the martial rhetoric, saying there is too much "loose talk" of war with Iran.
"This talk is good talk and shows an exit from illusion," Khamenei told Iran's Assembly of Experts, a senior clerical body, about Obama's remarks.
He also singled out Obama's comments about bringing the Iranian people to their knees with continued sanctions. That, he said, "shows the continuation of illusion in this issue."