So there was a fire/explosion at the Parchin military site in Iran earlier this week. This is one of the conclusions from the recent report by the U.S based Institute for Science and
International Security. The report is based on purchased satellite pictures. Another report by the Israel Defense magazine also confirms this claim, based on pictures obtained from a French satellite. Meanwhile the Jane’s publication believes that it was an explosion which occurred at the site.
This puts to rest the question as to whether the reported explosion/fire was at the Parchin site itself. The reason being that none of the Iran based news organizations actually stated that the fire/explosion took place at the Parchin site. The only news source which stated this was Saham News, which belongs to the pro- Karrubi opposition.
Parchin is where Iran allegedly experimented with detonation and fuze systems required to build a bomb. The Iranian authorities have not allowed the IAEA inspectors to visit the site since November 2005.
So the next question is: did the fire/explosion take place at the section of Parchin where Iran allegedly undertook the experiments with the detonators?
The Israel Defense publication believes that the explosion took place “adjacent to another installation” where Iran is suspected to have worked on the nuclear detonation devices. It goes on to say that the area where the event took place “consists of a sizable testing center and what appears to be an area with bunker-shaped structures.” These were mostly or all destroyed.
The Institute for Science and International Security is not sure. First and foremost because for “unexplainable reasons” parts of the satellite pictures from the site which it purchased were not delivered. It is waiting for these photos to be delivered to it. Until then it can’t reach a conclusion regarding this matter (and rightly so). It also believes that the site where Iran undertook the detonation testing was at another part of Parchin.
So there is a dispute as to whether the recent fire/explosion took place near the area where Iran allegedly undertook detonator testing.
But, the question remains: why did the Iranian authorities go to extensive lengths to ensure that none of the reports published in Iran stated that the incident took place at Parchin itself? What did they have to hide?