IAEA accuses Iran of ongoing clean-up at Parchin

According to AFP, the International Atomic Energy Agency has said Iran is carrying out ‘ongoing’ possible clean up activities at the Parchin military base.

Satellite image of Parchin military site (ISIS/ GeoEye)

The IAEA wants to visit Parchin to examine whether Iran carried out nuclear weapons research at the site, but Iran has refused. The IAEA visited the site on two occasions in 2005.

IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said: “Yes, the activities at Parchin are ongoing, but I am not in a position to discuss the details today,” AFP said.

Western nations have accused Iran of working to systematically destroying evidence of past suspected weapons research activities at Parchin.

The IAEA wants Iran to grant access to Parchin, which it visited twice in 2005 but wants to examine again.

Since the summer, some buildings at the base have been covered in massive tarpaulins, which some analysts have said is to prevent surveillance by Western satellites.

The IRDiplomacy news website, which is run by Seyed Mohammad Sadegh Kharazi, Iran’s former ambassador to the UN and France, has an interview with Sadegh Rabbani, the former First Deputy of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, in which Rabbani discusses the Parchin military site, calling it the “IAEA’s Achilles heel”.

Can the claim that the Parchin site is being cleansed be proven?

[Rabbani]: If an explosion is nuclear, it cannot be cleansed. That means there are sensitive tools with which nuclear explosions can be detected. Therefore, the statement that the impacts of these explosions have been erased is completely false. The reason is that erasing the effects of an explosion is not an easy task. Radioactive materials sit on the leaves of the trees, buildings, and cars and, thus, the effects of these materials can easily be traced. In other words, if a nuclear explosion occurs in one part of the world, its impacts could reach other parts as well and can be measured. Nuclear explosions which have happened in the past can still be traced. Therefore, the claim of erasing and cleansing Parchin cannot be proven.

Has this issue which Amano has referred to, based on having accurate information on strong explosions in Parchin, been mentioned in previous reports?

[Rabbani]: The issue of explosions can be either nuclear or military. Therefore, it does not mean anything by itself, unless they can prove that these explosions were nuclear. Of course, these reports were gathered from different sources, either from IAEA members or spying agencies. But until the inspectors do not visit the Parchin site up close, they cannot prove such a point. It should be mentioned that in previous reports, there were only talks of nuclear activities in Parchin, but in this report, the issue of heavy explosions was pointed out.

What Iran has declared about the Parchin site is that Parchin is a military site and no institution has permission to visit a military site of another country. To what extent can Iran prove this claim or, on the other hand, can the IAEA prove that there are nuclear activities on this site?

[Rabbani]: Yes, Iran’s claim is correct. The inspectors are only permitted to inspect the sites which Iran presents as economic sites, and military sites are secret locations for any country. With regard to Parchin, Iran has never explicitly stated that it would not give permission for the inspectors’ visit; it has rather proposed the question of whether this visit will be the last visit or whether such visits will be repeated. Iran’s question is whether this visit is the beginning or the end for Iran’s nuclear dossier, because the Islamic Republic of Iran cannot leave these visits open and the issue of which areas are going to be inspected must be clarified.

Iran has recently made remarks about its Fordow uranium enrichment facility, hinting that it has finished installing centrifuges.

Source: (English): http://www.irdiplomacy.ir/en/page/1909025/Parchin%2C+IAEA%E2%80%99s+Achilles%E2%80%99+Heel.html


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