Hmmm: Satellite photos show Iranian work on Parchin during and after agreement

posted at 4:01 pm on February 8, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Curious indeed. Didn’t John Kerry assure us that Tehran had negotiated the nuclear-technology agreement in reasonably good faith? Stratfor’s analysis of satellite imagery of the Parchin site, which was a hub of activity for Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, has had a facelift of sorts in recent months. And there appears to be a new tunnel leading to …. what, exactly? A hydroponic farm?

Satellite imagery provided by our partners at AllSource Analysis gives a clear picture of the dual nature of Iran’s approach to its nuclear program throughout its negotiations with the West. The pictures of the Parchin Military Complex, taken in July 2010 and January 2016, respectively, show how Tehran removed potentially incriminating traces of activity at the site while talks were ongoing. It also constructed an underground facility within the complex, where research and weapons development could be concealed. …

Based on the images, it is clear that Iran began making an effort to scrub the site clean in 2012, as talks with the West began to show more potential. It removed layers of soil and foliage that could have contained evidence of its previous activities well before inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived in September 2015, and covered large areas with concrete. Tehran also insisted that Iranian personnel, rather than IAEA experts, collect the test samples required for the inspection. However, the IAEA insists that this process was subject to rigid oversight, and the organization found no incriminating evidence against Iran during its visit to Parchin, though this was likely in part due to the recent renovations and the lack of equipment left in the high explosives test building.

The Daily Beast’s Kimberly Dozier asked Stratfor analyst Sim Tack about what conclusions could be reached from the imagery. Tack wouldn’t commit to a conclusion, but the options are bad enough:

“We’re not saying they’re cheating on the nuclear deal,” Stratfor analyst Sim Tack told The Daily Beast. “The images show Iran was going through the motions to hide what it’s done before, and it is still…developing facilities that the IAEA may or may not have access to,” Tack said, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency. …

While the destruction of that controversial building has been reported before, Tack said the publication of images of the near-simultaneous construction of the tunnel entrance to another part of the complex is new.

“The imagery showed they were working on a tunnel entrance within the Parchin complex…and it looks like it’s complete,” Tack said. A 2014 image Stratfor did not release showed construction equipment outside tunnel entrance.

“They were still going forward with that construction during the talks,” he said.

If Iran allowed the IAEA to independently inspect this site, this would matter quite a bit less. Iran refuses to do so, not even to collect soil samples around the Parchin site; the agreement allows Iran to produce those themselves. The appearance of a tunnel under these circumstances appears ominous, especially given the use of Parchin in the past. One thing is certain: future satellite surveillance won’t accomplish much.

Rick Moran agrees:

But by the time the agency’s request to inspect the sites was approved by Iran, chances are good any evidence of cheating would have been scrubbed. And that’s if Iran even granted permission. Tehran has stated categorically that Parchin is off limits to inspectors because of its use as a military research facility.

The president’s claim that the inspections regime is “unprecedented” is ludicrous given what we know today.

It’s been ludicrous all along. As time goes by, that conclusion will become more and more difficult to deny — and it might not take all that much time, although some will refuse to acknowledge it until the inevitable nuclear test takes place.


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Comments

Why not? They just won the Obama lottery.

Oil Can on February 8, 2016 at 4:05 PM

Bill Clinton is to North Korea as Obama is to Iran.

Zaggs on February 8, 2016 at 4:06 PM

obama’s patrons at work, just a different day.

The Qataris own the Clintons.

Schadenfreude on February 8, 2016 at 4:07 PM

“They are simply laying the foundation for my Presidential Library.”

— The Prophet Obama

ShainS on February 8, 2016 at 4:10 PM

That’s where they’re putting in the new servers for when Hillary gets into the Oval Office.

Nethicus on February 8, 2016 at 4:10 PM

Whats ludicrous is electing a community organizer as President of the US

Privatize It on February 8, 2016 at 4:12 PM

They didn’t bankroll Obama’s election for nothing, amirite?

Rix on February 8, 2016 at 4:13 PM

….the Iran deal is worth less then the paper it’s printed on…..

sorrowen on February 8, 2016 at 4:17 PM

Smart business move to invest in your capital infrastructure with the windfall of funding. Can we only imagine what has progressed in areas the satellite can’t see? Wealthy progressives at work.

tej on February 8, 2016 at 4:18 PM

And the ‘Media’ is OK with it…

Seven Percent Solution on February 8, 2016 at 4:23 PM

Whats ludicrous is electing a community organizer as President of the US

Privatize It on February 8, 2016 at 4:12 PM

Amen. Then a second term where the neighborhood wasn’t bad enough he was elected again to finish it off. What makes it even worse is he managed to screw up so many other neighborhoods around the world.

tej on February 8, 2016 at 4:24 PM

And there appears to be a new tunnel leading to …. what, exactly? A hydroponic farm?

The mullahs are growing weed!

“We’re not saying they’re cheating on the nuclear deal,”

Wait, I have to go find my shocked face.

rbj on February 8, 2016 at 4:25 PM

It’s been ludicrous all along. As time goes by, that conclusion will become more and more difficult to deny — and it might not take all that much time, although some will refuse to acknowledge it until the inevitable nuclear test takes place.

You know that, and we know that … and you can bet Obama and Kerry know it too and just don’t care, because they are getting what they want — what ever that is.
Back to the Rubio thread.
This blog is starting to take on an aura of infinite recursiveness.

AesopFan on February 8, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Interesting to see how long it takes them to complete the new digs.

THAT should give you an idea of how close they are to fabricating domestically a device.

In the meantime, they’ll be putting at least half of that Payday Obama & Kerry delivered on to work by buying goods made in North Korea.

And I dont mean autographed Dennis Rodman basketballs either.

BlaxPac on February 8, 2016 at 4:35 PM

developing facilities that the IAEA may or may not have access to,” Tack said, referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Hmmm, interesting thought occurred to me. Wouldn’t that tunnel entrance be the perfect destination for a .5K/t nuclear tipped Cruise missile. it could be passed off as a genuinely tragic work place accident. Too bad nobody in America has the testicular fortitude to do something like that.

oscarwilde on February 8, 2016 at 4:37 PM

“They are simply laying the foundation for my Presidential Library.”
— The Prophet Obama
ShainS on February 8, 2016 at 4:10 PM

Prophedential library?

Marcola on February 8, 2016 at 4:40 PM

Hmmm, interesting thought occurred to me. Wouldn’t that tunnel entrance be the perfect destination for a .5K/t nuclear tipped Cruise missile. it could be passed off as a genuinely tragic work place accident. Too bad nobody in America has the testicular fortitude to do something like that.
oscarwilde on February 8, 2016 at 4:37 PM

Well, now Obama won’t do it – because he didn’t think of it first.

Marcola on February 8, 2016 at 4:42 PM

It’s not an agreement. It’s a plan. Iran didn’t agree to anything. They would not enter into an agreement with the Great Satan. It would be an insult to Islam and to Allah.

hepcat on February 8, 2016 at 4:48 PM

Hmmm, interesting thought occurred to me. Wouldn’t that tunnel entrance be the perfect destination for a .5K/t nuclear tipped Cruise missile. it could be passed off as a genuinely tragic work place accident. Too bad nobody in America has the testicular fortitude to do something like that.
oscarwilde on February 8, 2016 at 4:37 PM

The Israelis probably already have a plan in place….

Hank_Scorpio on February 8, 2016 at 4:48 PM

Privatize It on February 8, 2016 at 4:12 PM TWICE

rjoco1 on February 8, 2016 at 4:49 PM

They are developing nuke triggers for miniaturized bombs at the site. Oberlin indoctrinates informed the world of this via their ‘trigger warnings’.

vnvet on February 8, 2016 at 4:50 PM

And the ‘Media’ is OK with it…

Seven Percent Solution on February 8, 2016 at 4:23 PM

Seems to be.

Mimzey on February 8, 2016 at 4:51 PM

Oh look…another day and another way the Obama administration has screwed us over.

RockyMtnGirl on February 8, 2016 at 4:59 PM

Democrats. Emboldening our enemies since 1939.

Wood Dragon on February 8, 2016 at 5:01 PM

And there appears to be a new tunnel leading to …. what, exactly?

Trump International Golf Club and Estates, Parchin?

kcewa on February 8, 2016 at 5:02 PM

The US should sponsor a test detonation demonstration at the site, within five or six feet.

bobthm3 on February 8, 2016 at 5:13 PM

Who cares?

Saudi Arabia has trained 150,000 strategic special operators armed with new weapons.

And Israel can topple a nation in four days with the high-velocity penetrating weapon.

Hot Air should really devote less time to our presidential candidates and start covering some of the earth-shaking changes going on.

Turkey has announced that it’ll accept the creation of an independent Kurdistan.

Every single Iranian and Hezbollah commander is Syria has been killed, including Qassem Suleimani.

The Houthis in Yemen were defeated by a force of about 4000 Arab strategic special operators outnumbered more than ten to one.

The Arab League and Israel are going to overthrow the mullahs. Israel is calmly announcing the increasing Iranian support for Hamas, which is a direct result of the nuclear deal freeing up $150 billion.

There’s no sense of panic. A Palestinian contact tells me that Israel hasn’t taken action against the Palestinian leadership because the Saudis are going to overthrow Hamas and Fatah.

You really ought to look into the fighting in Syria and Yemen. Basically a 12-man operational detachment now has the ability to turn the tide of an entire battle.

The Saudis have 150,000 such operators ready to go. Let the mullahs have their fun. They’ve entered their final days.

A Chair of Some Kind on February 8, 2016 at 5:36 PM

A Chair of Some Kind on February 8, 2016 at 5:36 PM

I see the worm wiggling on the hook…

…and I *see* the empty Valu-Rite beer cans floating nearby…

…But I’m gonna ask anyway.

This is a joke, right?

BlaxPac on February 8, 2016 at 6:09 PM

A Chair of Some Kind on February 8, 2016 at 5:36 PM

Well, thanks. I took a look at your site and like it, but, am a little resistant to handing out my email addy. I have had unpleasant experiences with that in the past. Why do you need it?

butch on February 8, 2016 at 6:17 PM

John Kerry (along with Obama) selling the USA down the drain. And they think they’ll survive? Give me a break. Second time Kerry has done this – the sooner he’s gone the better – really gone. Maybe he should move to Damascus?

MN J on February 8, 2016 at 6:19 PM

The tall guy on the left in the first photo sure looks like Lurch with a bucket of yellow cake.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 8, 2016 at 6:26 PM

“Ludicrous ” describes King Barack to a “T”.

GarandFan on February 8, 2016 at 8:16 PM

Wouldn’t that tunnel entrance be the perfect destination for a .5K/t nuclear tipped Cruise missile.

oscarwilde on February 8, 2016 at 4:37 PM
There is no such thing. Adjustable yield is 5KT to 150KT.

But it would make a nice field test for the LRSO.

Younggod on February 9, 2016 at 2:41 AM

Basically a 12-man operational detachment now has the ability to turn the tide of an entire battle.

A Chair of Some Kind on February 8, 2016 at 5:36 PM

That could change in the next version of Mobile Strike.

Younggod on February 9, 2016 at 2:45 AM

“…and it might not take all that much time, although some will refuse to acknowledge it until the inevitable nuclear test takes place.”

All that much time?!?
Everyone understands that the Iranians and North Koreans are partners in developing ICBMs, right? Because there are Iranian techs working at the NK missile test facilities? And the NK’s ICBMs are effectively Iran’s, too?

So when we see Iran making a whole bunch of half-enriched uranium, Iranian techs working at the NK nuclear test site, and NK setting off a series of nuclear tests…
Doesn’t it make sense that the NK / Iranian Partnership already has nuclear weapons? And that we’ve already seen those “inevitable tests”?

ReggieA on February 10, 2016 at 3:18 PM