Two months ago, The Lid reported the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found traces of radioactive activity at a site in Iran pointed out by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and labeled the Atomic Warehouse during his September 2018 UN speech.  Now we learn two diplomats tasked with assisting international oversight of Iran’s nuclear programs have confirmed to Reuters, that the inspectors not only discovered the radioactive traces but that the traces identified as Uranium. Uranium is the same element Iran is enriching and one of only two fissile elements with which one can make the core of a nuclear bomb

Apparently, the IAEA has been investigating the particles’ origin and has asked Iran to why there are traces of Uranium at a site they didn’t identify. So far, Iran hasn’t responded to the IAEA’s question.

One of the diplomats said the uranium was not highly enriched, meaning it was not purified to a level close to that needed for weapons.

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“Those traces were, however, of uranium, the diplomats said – the same element Iran is enriching and one of only two fissile elements with which one can make the core of a nuclear bomb. One diplomat said the uranium was not highly enriched, meaning it was not purified to a level anywhere close to that needed for weapons [yet?]”

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Despite that it wasn’t purified to a weapons grade-level, the presence of Uranium was still a violation of the JCPOA.

On Saturday, Sept. 7, Iran announced it now uses arrays of advanced centrifuges prohibited by its 2015 nuclear deal and can enrich uranium “much more beyond” current levels to weapons-grade material.

As reported by the Associated Press,

“Speaking to journalists while flanked by advanced centrifuges, Kamalvandi [Behrouz Kamalvandi of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran] said Iran has begun using an array of 20 IR-6 centrifuges and another 20 of IR-4 centrifuges. An IR-6 can produce enriched uranium 10 times as fast as an IR-1, Iranian officials say, while an IR-4 produces five times as fast.

That certainly put a dent in the point that the Uranium found by the IAEA wasn’t purified to weapons great, it can be and quickly. There is no need for Iran to enrich uranium that quickly unless they want to make the leap to atomic weapons.

Last week the Wall Street Journal reported that the IAEA inspectors sent to investigate the site were getting frustrated by Iran.

“Iran is stifling a United Nations probe of its alleged storage of nuclear equipment and radioactive material in Tehran, diplomats say, leading to fresh concerns about Iran’s activities at a critical moment for the fate of the 2015 nuclear deal”

“The diplomats said Iran has refused to provide answers to important questions raised by the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency over allegations, first made public by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a year ago, that Iran had established a now-dismantled site in Tehran to store equipment and material used during past nuclear weapons work.”

In his speech to the UN General Assembly last year, Netanyahu claimed that in August 2018, the Iranians cleared from the atomic warehouse15 kg of enriched uranium they had kept secret from the IAEA, which housed another 300 tons of nuclear-related equipment and material. He even provided the UN the Atomic Warehouse’s address.

Now for those of you at home using Google Earth, this no-longer-secret atomic warehouse is on Maher Alley, Maher Street. You have the coordinates, you can try to get there. And for those of you who try to get there, it’s 100 meters from the Kalishoi, the rug cleaning operation. By the way, I hear they do a fantastic job cleaning rugs there. But by now they may be radioactive rugs.

Uranium Atomic Warehouse

Image of the Turkuz Abad atomic warehouse in Tehran on September 26, 2018, with an inset from the Iranian News Agency showing a ground view of the entrance.

The Iranians then denied the allegations and claimed that the factory was a carpet cleaning factory and denied that any nuclear activity was happening at the site. But as you can see by the picture above the carpet business is across the street from the Atomic Warehouse.

At the time of his speech, Netanyahu demanded that the IAEA inspect the site immediately. IAEA leaders chaffed at the suggestion (they don’t like to be told what to do), but eventually paid the Atomic Warehouse a visit. Actually, they had to because Israel told them what was going on at the location in front of the entire world—with pictures.

After delaying some months, the IAEA got around to inspecting the site earlier this year, long after the suspicious materials had vanished in August of 2018, and Israel revealed the details about the site in September.  Thankfully nuclear inspectors were still able to detect radioactive particles, corroborating Israeli claims about the purpose of the warehouse.

According to Israel’s Channel 13 which broke the original story in July 

“Israel gave the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) information about the suspected warehouse, and UN inspectors visited the site several times, in March[2019], taking samples of soil at the site to discover traces of radioactive materials and preparing a report on their findings.”

In April 2018 speech televised to the world, Netanyahu revealed a Mossad operation retrieved a cache of files from an “Atomic Archive” in Iran, proved Tehran ran a secret program to build nuclear weapons. Iranian leaders have long said their nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes. But Netanyahu revealed tens of thousands of pages of documents, which he said were copied from a “highly secret location” in Iran.  Israeli intelligence secured a half-ton cache of files, fifty-five thousand pages and another 55,000 files on 183 CDs, from that secret storage building in Tehran.

Netanyahu showed the information — which was obtained sometime in February, it reveals that Iran was “brazenly lying” about its nuclear weapons program and moved all of its atomic files and designs to a secret location, proving the country is not complying with that key provision of the nuclear deal.

Why is that important?  Because many politicians and news commentators will blame the latest revelation on President Trump’s decision to leave the flawed JCPOA. But Netanyahu’s revelation that the Mossad had the Iranian documents occurred BEFORE the US pulled out of the deal. Indeed the documents were written before Trump moving into the White House, and Iran was still getting pallets of cash from the Obama administration.

So, while Iran and the US Democratic Party will claim that Iran’s recent incitement is being done to get back at the US from pulling out of the deal, the documents secured by Mossad before Trump announced pulling out of the flawed JCPOA proves that Iran was violating the agreement long before the US pulled out.

The video below is an I24 report regarding the Atomic Warehouse and how Iran tried to cover it up

The public version quarterly IAEA report issued last week ago did not mention the Uranium find because inspection-related matters are highly confidential. However, some reports indicate the full report document contains a scathing review of Iran’s actions with regards to the JCPOA. The US is pushing for the full report to be made public.

The IAEA’s policy-making, 35-nation Board of Governors, holds a week-long quarterly meeting starting on September 9th, but most assuredly most of the board including Britain, France, Germany, and Russia will demand the full report remain a secret.

UPDATE:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Tehran had been developing nuclear weapons at a secret site in Abadeh in Iran. It was the first time that Netanyahu had identified the site, which, he said, was discovered in a trove of Iranian documents Israel previously obtained and released publicly last year. “In this site, Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said, adding that it was south of Iranian city of Isfahan.

Iran destroyed the site when it realized that Israel had uncovered it, he said. The video below is the English version of his speech.

He provided no details or evidence of what those experiments were, but he showed off two satellite photos. The first, taken in June, showed the facility intact. The second, taken in July, showed parts of the building had been destroyed, in what he said was an Iranian cover-up after Israel discovered the facility.

He ended the short statment by reminding the despots who run Iran, Israel knows what you are doing, Israel knows when you are doing it, Israel knows where you are doing it. We will continue to expose your lies. What you see is a consistent pattern of Iranian lies, deception and violations.” He called on the international community to “wake up” and “realize that Iran is systematically lying.” And to “join President Trump’s sanction to exert more pressure on Iran.

 

Iran Atomic Warehouse

Iran Atomic Warehouse

Iran Atomic Warehouse

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