Iran uranium enrichment site opens for first time in 2 years, images show

The Fordow compound was part of Iran's nuclear program and was discovered in satellite images in 2009.

May 3, 2018 20:36
1 minute read.
Iran uranium enrichment site opens for first time in 2 years, images show

Satellite images of Iran's Fordo enrichment facility, May 3, 2018. (photo credit: IMAGESAT INTERNATIONAL (ISI))

For the first time since the Iran nuclear agreement was signed, the entrance gate to Iran’s Fordow uranium enrichment facility was opened and activity at the compound commenced, according to satellite images taken last Sunday and published on Thursday.

In the photos, provided by ImageSat International (ISI), new structures that were built recently in the nuclear compound are visible, as well as buses and other vehicles parked outside the complex.

The Fordow compound was part of Iran’s nuclear program, discovered in satellite images in 2009.
In January 2012, the UN nuclear watchdog IAEA announced that the uranium at the facility had been enriched to 20%.

The facility itself was built on a mountainside, apparently to protect it from possible attack from Israel. As part of the nuclear agreement, most of the centrifuges were dismantled.
According to the IAEA report, it was converted for civilian purposes.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to the Fordow facility during his speech on Monday when he unveiled a massive cache of secret documents, obtained in an Israeli intelligence operation this year, showing that Iran had developed a secret nuclear weapons program.

In his speech, Netanyahu said excavations are continuing on the mountain-side compound. The prime minister also accused Iran of lying to the six powers that negotiated with it in 2015 to reach an agreement on its nuclear program.

The cache Netanyahu presented also revealed documents in which the Iranian leadership instructed those responsible for the nuclear program to develop five 10-kiloton warheads, which could be mounted on ballistic missiles.

Translated by Eric Sumner.

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