VIENNA - A US security institute says commercial satellite imagery shows new activity at an Iranian military site which raises concern that the Islamic state may be "washing" a building the United Nations' nuclear agency wants to inspect.

The United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) suspects nuclear weapons-related research may have taken place at the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran.

Iran has dismissed the allegations but has yet to allow the agency to visit the facility, despite repeated requests.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said last week that the agency had recently noticed some "activities" there. He gave no details but Western diplomats suspect Iran may be cleaning the site before any inspection. Tehran denies this.

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a Washington-based think-tank specializing on nuclear proliferation, said it had acquired commercial satellite imagery from April 9 which back up the IAEA's concern.

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