Iran nuclear satellite image-missile base 311 (illustrative).
(photo credit: DigitalGlobe - Institute for Science and Internati)
WASHINGTON - A US non-proliferation expert said on Tuesday he has
identified a building at the Parchin military site in Iran suspected of
containing, currently or previously, a high-explosive test chamber the
UN nuclear watchdog wants to visit.
David Albright, founder of the Institute for Science and International
Security, said he studied commercial satellite imagery and found a
building located on a relatively small and isolated compound at Parchin
that fit a description in the November 2011 International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) report.
The building has its own perimeter security wall or fencing and there is
a berm between the building and a neighboring building, Albright said
in a report.
The compound is located more than four kilometers away from
high-explosive related facilities at Parchin which the IAEA visited in
2005, Albright's report said.
Iran refused access to Parchin, southeast of Tehran, during two rounds
of talks with IAEA inspectors. Western diplomats say Iran may be
delaying access to give it time to sanitize the facility of any
incriminating evidence of explosive tests that would indicate efforts to
design nuclear weapons.
"We have information that some activity is ongoing there," IAEA Director
General Yukiya Amano said recently, referring to Parchin.
The IAEA has evidence that the test chamber was placed at Parchin in
2000 and that a building was subsequently constructed around it,
Albright's report said.
The information was that a large explosive test chamber was used to
conduct experiments possibly related to the development of nuclear
weapons in the early years after 2000, Albright said.
He was not able to gauge the level of activity at this particular site
without comparing it to multiple images over a short period of time.
The ISIS report and satellite imagery can be found here