It's the most talked-about military site in the world. Just 18 miles southeast of Tehran, the Parchin military facility, suspected of housing a containment chamber to conduct high-explosive tests, has long eluded U.N. inspectors. But today, a research group in Washington has pinpointed on a satellite image what it says are its whereabouts.
In November, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran had constructed a building at its Parchin military facility around 2000 to hold "a large cylindrical object" and that "a large earth berm was subsequently constructed between the building containing the cylinder and a neighbouring building, indicating the probable use of high explosives in the chamber." It added, "The Agency has obtained commercial satellite images that are consistent with this information." But the IAEA never released the images backing up its report.
When questions arose in February about the facility, The Atlantic Wire wanted to see what it looked like, so we asked our friends at the commercial satellite firm GeoEye if they had any imagery of Parchin and sent their images to analyst Paul Brannan at the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS). Today, ISIS wrapped up its report and has identified the site mentioned in the IAEA report. To this day, Iran has consistently denied that it has engaged in nuclear experiments at the site.