IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano reflected the international community’s suspicion that Iran is trying to conceal nuclear weapons research in its Parchin site, at a news conference on Monday. He described apparent concealment activities taking place at the Parchin military facility outside Tehran, where it is suspected that Iran has conducted explosive tests related to the development of nuclear weapons. “The satellite imagery indicates that these activities include the use of water, demolishing of buildings, removing fences and moving soil,” Amano told journalists. The nuclear watchdog has been seeking access to Parchin for months, but so far has been denied by Tehran. IAEA representatives will meet Iranian representatives on Friday to discuss the issue of access. A deal to secure IAEA access negotiated during a visit by Amano to Tehran two weeks ago is yet to be concluded.
Late last month the IAEA showed board members satellite photos of Parchin that strengthened suspicions that Tehran is trying to remove evidence of research on high explosives used to set off a nuclear charge.
Commenting on international talks with Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the German Bild newspaper, in an interview published this week, that world powers have lowered their demands to reach an agreement with the Iranian regime. Netanyahu warned that this lower threshold could still allow Iran the ability to build a nuclear weapon. The Israeli PM stressed again the need for Iran halt all uranium enrichment, remove enriched uranium from the country and dismantle the underground enrichment facility at Fordow near the city of Qom.