Satellite images of an Iranian military facility show trucks and earth-moving vehicles at Parchin, an Iranian military base, indicating that crews were trying to clean it of radioactive traces possibly left by tests of a nuclear-weapon trigger, diplomats told The Associated Press Wednesday.
Two of the diplomats — nuclear experts associated with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) speaking under anonymity — said the crews may be trying to erase evidence of tests of a small neutron device used to set off a nuclear explosion.
The diplomats could not confirm their suspicion, but said any attempt to trigger a neutron initiator at the Parchin site could only be in the context of trying to develop nuclear arms. Western suspicions about activities at Parchin date back to at least 2004, when a prominent nuclear expert assessed that satellite images showed it might be a site for research and experiments applicable to nuclear weapons. The IAEA requested access to Parchin during high-level talks in Tehran in February, but Iran refused.
Also on Wednesday, In a CNN interview Yukiya Amano, the head of the IAEA, said Iran was not being completely open about its nuclear programme. “We have the indication or information that Iran has engaged in activities relevant to the development of nuclear explosive devices,” Amano said. “Iran is not telling us everything. That is my impression. We are asking Iran to engage with us proactively, and Iran has a case to answer,” Amano added.