Iran is building something new in an underground nuclear site

Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Iran urges US to suspend nuclear program Amid tensions with Fordo, construction has begun on the site of its underground nuclear facility, satellite photos obtained Friday by the Associated Press show. Iran It has not publicly acknowledged any new construction at Fordo, which was discovered by the West in 2009, in the first phase of brinkmenship before world powers struck a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

While the purpose of the building is unclear, any action at Fordo would likely raise new concerns in the weak days of the Trump administration before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Already, Iran is building on its Natz nuclear facility after a mysterious explosion there in July that Tehran called a sabotage attack.

“Any changes to the site will be closely monitored as a sign of where Iran’s nuclear program is,” said Jeffrey Lewis, an expert at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, which studies Iran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, whose observers are in Iran as part of the nuclear deal, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The IAEA did not disclose if Iran provided information on any construction at Fordo.


“As you know, the IAEA has observers on the ground in Iran, and there is an unprecedented 24/7 inspection mechanism. As such, any of Iran’s nuclear activity is no secret.”

“We have always maintained that our current activities, which are in line with the JCPO, and other parties, including the US, in particular, will go against it as soon as it is fully complied with,” he said.

About a year ago, Iran said it had arrived Injected uranium gas into centrifuges In the underground Fordo complex, what was his most significant step since the collapse of the 2015 nuclear deal in response to President Trump’s withdrawal from it.

New construction on the Fordo site began in late September. A.P. Satellite images obtained by Mercar Technologies show that construction is taking place on the northwest corner of the site, about 55 miles southwest of Tehran, near the holy city of Shia.

A December 11 satellite photo shows the newly excavated foundation of a building with dozens of columns. Such columns can be used in construction to support houses in earthquake zones.

The construction site is located northwest of Fordo’s underground facility, built inside a mountain to protect it from potential air strikes. The site is close to other support and research and development buildings in Fordo.

The buildings also house Iran’s National Vacuum Technology Center. Vacuum technology is a critical component of Iran’s uranium-gas centrifuges, which enrich uranium.

Numerous challenges await Biden in the Middle East


In 2018, Mr. Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from a nuclear deal with Iran, in which Tehran agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. Mr Trump cited Iran’s ballistic missile program, its regional policies and other issues in withdrawing from the agreement, although the deal focuses on Tehran’s entire nuclear program.

When the U.S. increased sanctions, Iran slowly and publicly abandoned the deal because a series of escalating events pushed both countries to the brink of war earlier this year. Stress is high today.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran agreed to stop enriching uranium at Fordo and make it a “nuclear, physics and technology center.”

“This position was a major turning point in the negotiations leading to the Iran nuclear deal,” Lewis said. “The United States insisted on shutting down Iran while Iran’s supreme leader said there was a red line to keep it.”

The bill to suspend the inspection by Iranian legislators is exactly …


After the collapse of the deal, Iran has resumed prosperity there, as confirmed by the injection of gas announced a year ago.

Shinkled from the mountains, it is also riddled with anti-facility guns and other fortifications. It’s about the size of a football field, big enough to hold 3,000 centrifuges, but the U.S. They became so small and hard to convince officials that they had a military purpose when they made the site public in 200 exposed.

So far, Iran is enriching uranium to 4.5 ..% in violation of the agreement limit 3 .. 4.567%. Iran’s parliament has passed a bill requiring Tehran to be enriched by up to 20%, a short technical step from 90% of the weapons level. The bill would also exclude IAEA inspectors.

Experts say Iran now has enough stockpile of uranium for at least two nuclear weapons, if it chooses to pursue it. Iran has long maintained that its nuclear program is peaceful.

The bill seeks to pressure European countries to provide relief Disabled US sanctions. With increased operations at the nuclear sites, with the upcoming biden administration and when negotiations take place, it is also intended to give Iran more benefits – be it bilateral or international negotiations that lead to the 2015 deal – to resume.

Iran has the worst Kovid outbreak in the Middle East


Mr Biden has said he would offer Tehran a “credible way back to diplomacy”, but insisted that Iran return in accordance with the terms of the nuclear deal. If that happens, his administration will also “re-enter into the contract.”

The Iranian president has promised “quick” compliance with the terms of the nuclear deal, if Mr Biden eases sanctions imposed on his country by his predecessor over the past two years.

President-elects have consistently argued that the 2015 agreement reached by its previous boss, former President Barack Obama, has barred Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. “