Shortly after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) requested access to inspect suspected nuclear testing sites in Iran, satellite images show clean-up activities intended to conceal the work being done there, according to a report from a former international weapons inspector who has been independently monitoring the situation in Iran.
“The degree of the site’s modification and the fact that this apparent cleanup work started soon after the IAEA’s request for access cast further doubt on Iran’s claims that its nuclear program does not or has never had any military aspects,” says David Albright in a report issued by the Institute for Science and International Security and written by the inspector.
The site, which is located on the Parchin military complex southwest of Tehran, sat unused from 2004 until the Iranian military began moving in equipment in May. After the inspection request was made, satellite photos showed substantial clean-up activities, including the demolition of two buildings at the site, though Iran continued to deny access to the inspectors.
Bloomberg Businessweek cites an unnamed senior western official saying that attempts to sanitize the Parchin site prove Iran is worried inspectors would find evidence the military is working on atomic weapons. This echoes a growing concern in the international community that Iran’s atomic energy program is a cover for the military’s work on atomic weapons.