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|Martin Barillas||October 6th 2014|
Cutting Edge Contributor
The Iranian Students News Agency reported today that detonations were witnessed at an explosive material production unit at the Parchin nuclear facility near Tehran. The facility is not far from the Iranian capital. According to Sahamnews – a news site opposed to the Islamist regime – the explosion occurred on the evening of October 5, and was so intense that windows of buildings nine miles away were shattered. According to the BBC, "The glare from the blast could also be seen from a great distance." ISNA, quoting defense sources, reported that two workers lost their lives in the incident.
For a number of years, Israel has alleged that the Parchin military base is used by Iran for testing technology to be used for detonating a nuclear weapon. Israel has frequently criticized negotiations conducted by the U.S. and other major powers, citing fears that the Islamic Republic is merely trying to buy time in order to develop enough nuclear know-how to develop a weapon and thus obviate the need for negotiation.
Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz issued a statement on September 24, the day before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke before the UN General Assembly, saying that internal neutron sources such as uranium were used in nuclear implosion tests at Parchin. Official Israeli sources said that his statement was based on "highly reliable information."
Iran has condemned Israel's contentions while claiming that its nuclear program is entirely peaceful in nature. The Islamic Republic says that it actually Israel's presumed nuclear capability that is a threat to regional stability.
Iran had already forbidden inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency from inspecting the Parchin site. IAEA experts are expected to arrive in Teheran tonight in order to resolve issues regarding the disputed atomic program on October 7. IAEA inspectors have had access to a string of declared nuclear sites as part of an interim nuclear deal reached with the major powers last November. Access to Parchin was not granted by Iran as part of that deal. However, the IAEA has been seeking to visit the site so as to resolve concerns about Iran's nuclear program, past and present.
Cutting Edge Contributor Martin Barillas also edits Speroforum.com