Bob Kelley sends along a rather different view than my own more jaded take on the “landscaping” activities at Parchin.  Bob believes the Iranians are not be sanitizing the area near the test chamber at Parchin, but rather laying the foundation for a new structure.

“Time will tell,” Bob says — and I suppose he’s right about that. I am eager to see the next set of images from Parchin.

Shooting at a Phantom?

Robert Kelley

There is a fascinating public discussion going-on about something that probably never happened.  The Director General of the IAEA says that Iran is cleaning up the Parchin alleged hydrodynamic uranium concealment site by moving fences and moving earth.  The US representative to the IAEA says that Iran is sanitizing the Parchin site and that this is suspicious behavior.

An example is the mischaracterization of what is happening at the alleged uranium explosives test chamber at Parchin.  ISIS has given us the most recent imagery of the alleged sanitization activities at the Parchin alleged hydrodynamic test chamber site.  They show three possible sites of earth moving activities.  All of these activities are outside the site in question except for a tiny area in the southwest corner.  The suspect site is not being sanitized at all by earth moving.  If anything is actually occurring it is outside and adjacent to the site in question.

The southernmost alleged area of earth displacement is an area almost entirely outside the alleged test site.  It is an area that has always had straight borders and is without trees, unlike adjacent areas covered with artificial forests.  The activity there looks remarkably like earth moving to create a foundation for a new structure.  Time will tell.  Earth moving here cannot be conceivably for covert sanitization purposes, located far from the test building and outside the fence, especially if similar area inside the fence is untouched.

The central area of “displaced earth” is outside the personnel fence of the alleged site, not near the building.  This area has trees or bushes in a man-made dying artificial forest and anthropogenic scrapings that have been visible for over ten years in multiple images.  Those trees are still visible in the image of alleged earth displacement making it hard to believe that unseen, but alleged, earth displacement is taking place around some old bushes without simply removing them.

Finally there is alleged earth displacement outside the northern fence of the alleged Iranian explosive test facility.  The contrast of the published ISIS image is very poor but some aspects of this old dump site can be seen.  The site has long been visible as a dump site for hundreds of dump truck loads of earth going back to at least March 2000.  One cannot make any further claim about this area based upon the image published by ISIS but macro features of the old dump are visible in May 2012 making it uncertain that any earth has been scraped whatsoever.

The Director General of the IAEA is reinforcing claims of the US member of the IAEA Board of Governors that the Parchin site is being sanitized, when it is clear that only one area outside the boundaries of that site may be in the process of being cleared for unknown purposes.  The area next to the test building, where any random uranium contamination might have occurred and is the area that would need sanitizations remains untouched.  The alleged suspicious activity is outside the fence, and in some cases is probably not even occurring.  When trees and features up to 12 years old have not been disturbed it is incredible to say they are being sanitized.

Iran should be asked to explain why they are leveling a field outside the boundaries of a non-nuclear site not subject to IAEA inspections.  They may choose not to answer.  The Director General should be asked to explain why he characterizes minor landscaping activities outside the boundaries of a site that troubles him, as sanitization and worrying.  He too may not choose to answer.