The regime in Iran appears to have built an extension to part of its Parchin military site since May, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said in a report on Thursday, as part of its inquiry into possible military dimensions of Tehran’s past nuclear activity.
A resolution of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Parchin file, which includes a demand for fresh IAEA access to the site, is a symbolically important issue that could help make or break Tehran’s July 14 nuclear deal with six world powers.
The confidential IAEA report, obtained by Reuters, said:
“Since (our) previous report (in May), at a particular location at the Parchin site, the agency has continued to observe, through satellite imagery, the presence of vehicles, equipment, and probable construction materials. In addition, a small extension to an existing building” appeared to have been built.
The changes were first observed last month, a senior diplomat familiar with the Iran file said.
The IAEA says any activities Tehran has undertaken at Parchin since U.N. inspectors last visited in 2005 could jeopardize its ability to verify intelligence suggesting Tehran carried out tests there relevant to nuclear bomb detonations more than a decade ago.
Under a “road map” accord Tehran reached with the IAEA, it is required to give the Vienna-based watchdog enough information about its past nuclear activity to allow it to write a report on the long vexed issue by year-end.
“Full and timely implementation of the relevant parts of the road-map is essential to clarify issues relating to this location at Parchin,” the new IAEA report said.
According to data given to the IAEA by some member states, Parchin might have housed hydrodynamic experiments to assess how specific materials react under high pressure, such as in a nuclear blast, Reuters said.
“We cannot know or speculate what’s in the (extended) building … It’s something we will technically clarify over the course of the year,” the senior diplomat said.