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Satellite images reveal that Iran is scrubbing its nuclear sites to remove traces of radioactive materials, such as those used to make a nuclear weapon, according to the Associated Press.
Several unnamed diplomats told the AP that that radioactive “traces could have come from what they said was the testing of a small neutron trigger used to set off a nuclear explosion. A third diplomat could not confirm that, but says any testing of a so-called neutron initiator at the site could only be in the context of trying to develop nuclear arms.”
This news comes less than a day after Iran announced that, in a gesture of “good will,” it will let United Nations inspectors enter its covert military sites to investigate suspected nuclear arms activity.
The International Atomic Energy Agency continues to suspect that Iran is clandestinely assembling a nuclear weapon. In a report released late last month, the IAEA said that it has “serious concerns” about the program and concluded that that “Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities” as it has been ordered to do under international law.
“The Agency continues to have serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program,” the report said, noting that earlier in February, Iran refused to give inspectors access to multiple research sites that are suspected of housing a nuclear military program.
“Iran did not provide access to Parchin, as requested by the Agency during its two recent visits to Tehran, and no agreement was reached with Iran on a structured approach to resolving all outstanding issues in connection with Iran’s nuclear program,” the report states.
February’s report—which was issued to the IAEA’s 35-nation board, as well as to the U.N. Security Council—found that Iran is enriching uranium to levels far higher than those needed to operate a civilian nuclear program.
Once the regime acquires a large stockpile of enriched uranium, it can easily equip a nuclear weapon, experts say.