Aramie Louisville Vas – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported Thursday that there is evidence of new construction at the Parchin military site in Iran. The document was part of a routine review from the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog.
The document stated that the IAEA “has continued to observe, through satellite imagery, the presence of vehicles, equipment and probable construction materials.”
A senior U.S. intelligence official confirmed the presence of such materials earlier in the month but was clear that radioactive materials could not be concealed. A small building extension was also observed to have been constructed. State Department spokesman John Kirby, said that there would not be any IAEA restrictions at Parchin since the U.S. views it as “a conventional military, not a nuclear site”.
In short, Iran does not need to ask permission to build or do anything at the Parchin military site.
It’s likely that critics of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran will not let the reported extension go unchallenged.
“We cannot know or speculate what’s in the (extended) building … It’s something we will technically clarify over the course of the year,” said a senior diplomat.
There is a further concern, as the document alleged that Iranian officials themselves would participate in monitoring the Parchin site – a move that would essentially allow foxes to guard the henhouse. IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano has rejected this allegation as a “misrepresentation”.
According to the agreement, Iran must place verifiable limits on its uranium enrichment program in order to demonstrate that it will not create nuclear weapons. In exchange for its cooperation, sanctions will be lifted which currently are severely hurting Iran’s economy. The IAEA report contains some positive steps Iran has taken to act in accordance with its stated obligations.