At a time when Biden’s administration is negotiating a possible U.S. return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, new satellite imagery published on Tuesday indicate that Iran bulldozed a suspected nuclear site in an attempt to hide advancements in its nuclear program, Haaretz reports.
According to the private Israeli intelligence outfit The Intel Lab, who released the satellite pictures of an alleged secret Iranian nuclear site in the village of Sanjarian outside Tehran, the images should raise alarms for International Atomic Energy Agency officials meeting in Vienna.
The Intel Lab analysed the images, snapped by private U.S. satellite imaging firm Maxar Technologies, in cooperation with the Washington-based think tank Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).
Images that appear to show construction activities in and around the facility – characterised as a Probable Nuclear Program-Related Concealment Site- were reportedly taken on 15 October 2020, 18 January 2021 and 29 March 2021. They show 18 vehicles at the site in October 2020, as well as excavations and more vehicles in January but the site was covered up in March, so currently visible are only trenches and excavation swirls.
According to Intel Lab and ISIS claims, the Sanjarian facility’s role, first reported on by Mossad in 2018, was to produce shockwave generators necessary for the miniaturisation of nuclear weapons. The existence of Sanjarian facility was reportedly discovered by the Israeli intelligence agency in a raid on a Tehran warehouse to seize the ‘secret Iranian nuclear archive’.
U.S. accused Iran of violating the very nuclear deal that U.S. negotiators are trying to reinstate during a crucial IAEA board meeting in Vienna.
“Since this Board last met, Iran has also exceeded JCPOA constraints by enriching uranium to 60 percent U-235,” the U.S. delegation said in a statement.
Similar warning was issued by the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi, saying his expectations about this process were not met.
“We have a country that has a very developed and ambitious nuclear program, which is enriching at very high levels, enriching uranium at very high levels, very close to weapons-grade,” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director said, pointing t is no longer possible to say for certain that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons.