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Report: Iran Continuing Clean-up Activity at Parchin

Satellite image exposed by ISIS shows Iran is continuing its suspected clean-up activity at the Parchin Military complex.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/21/2012, 7:13 AM

Iranian nuclear facility
Iranian nuclear facility
Reuters

Iran is continuing its suspected clean-up activity at the Parchin Military complex, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said on Wednesday.

In the latest report on its website, ISIS presented satellite imagery from June 7, 2012, which shows continued activity at the site where the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) suspects Iran may have conducted high explosive compression related to the development of nuclear weapons.

The image shows heavy machinery tracks and earth displacement throughout the site. The debris from one of the razed buildings visible in imagery from May 25, 2012, also exposed by ISIS, has now been consolidated into piles just north of the site of the former building, ISIS said. There is evidence of earth moving machinery and excavation activity near the second demolished building north of the building suspected to contain the high explosive testing chamber.

ISIS noted that clearly defined roads that previously led to several of the buildings are no longer discernible due to machinery traffic or earth removal. The security barrier that previously ran along the perimeter of the site has also been removed, the report said, and areas close to the suspect building that contained access roads and vegetation now appear to have been bulldozed or disturbed by machinery.

The latest imagery also shows a notable amount of water flow from nearby an object placed next to the alleged high explosive testing building. It is hard to distinguish what the object is or the purpose of the water, ISIS said, adding that the water flows into areas that have seen considerable activity due to heavy machinery traffic or earth removal, activities which appear likely to persist.

Iran’s activities at the Parchin site have raised concerns about the Islamic Republic’s efforts to destroy evidence of possible high explosive tests at this site. The IAEA has asked repeatedly to visit this site, but so far Iran has refused.

The agency has been seeking a deal with Iran that would allow greater access to sites, people and documents tied to Tehran's nuclear program, including the Parchin site.

The UN’s nuclear watchdog and Iran failed recently to agree on a deal allowing greater access to Tehran's contested nuclear program.

“There has been no progress,” IAEA chief inspector Herman Nackaerts said after all-day talks on June 8 with Iran's envoy to the agency Ali Asghar Soltanieh and IAEA deputy director general Rafael Grossi.

On Tuesday, high-level nuclear talks in Russia between Iran and six world powers also failed and were suspended.

The talks in Moscow followed a bruising session in Baghdad in May that failed to make any noticeable progress beyond agreeing a date for more talks.

In a hint of compromise, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that Iran is ready to suspend its controversial enrichment of uranium to 20 percent if Europe guarantees delivery of nuclear fuel for its reactors.