Iran Seen Razing Buildings and Scraping Dirt at Parchin

On the radar: New satellite images; Landscaping over nuclear sites; Dagan says strikes would make Iranian bomb more likely; Understanding the consequences of strikes; Pakistan keeps testing missiles; Amb. McFaul’s rude welcome; and North Korea nukes its constitution.

Date May 31, 2012 | Edited by Benjamin Loehrke

Nothing to see here - New satellite images of Iran’s Parchin facility shows evidence that Iran razed two small buildings and has engaged in a cleanup effort that could cover up possible nuclear-related work at the site.

--Parchin remains of interest to the IAEA, but Iran has not allowed the agency access to inspect the site. Fredrik Dahl at Reuters has the story.

ISIS has the Parchin images - Per usual, David Albright and Robert Avagyan of ISIS have the Parchin satellite imagery and analysis. (pdf)

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From nuke site to green space - In 2004, Iran razed and scrubbed the site of its pre-2003 covert nuclear weapons program. Iran turned the site into the Tehran’s Kowsar Park. Jeffrey Lewis at Arms Control Wonk has photos of the park’s evolution from weapons site to city park.

--“It’s getting to be where a fellow can’t build an innocent soccer pitch in Tehran without someone screaming for an IAEA special inspection,” quips Lewis.

Tweet - @rjsmithcpi: US Stratcom commander Kehler told CouncilFRelations that Chinese nukes are not "a direct threat to the US." Also said he supports 0 goal.

Quote - “A strike could accelerate the procurement of the bomb. An attack isn’t enough to stop the project...We would provide them with the legitimacy to achieve nuclear capabilities for military purposes,“ said former Israeli intel chief Meir Dagan. Ali Gharib at Think Progress has the story.

Tweet - @Cirincione: I am tired of hack reporters citing a mythical "rapidly evolving missile threat to America's shores from rogue states."

Assessing the consequences - Many advocates of striking Iran brush aside the risks and consequences of such military attacks. Three members of Congress - Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) - have introduced an amendment to the intelligence authorization bill that would require the Director of National Intelligence to submit a report “containing an assessment of the consequences of a military strike against Iran.” Full story at Think Progress.

Pakistan keeps testing missiles - Pakistan test launched a nuclear-capable air-launched cruise missile that had a range of 220 miles. Pakistan has tested 4 missiles this month, following India’s trial launch of its Agni-5 missile. Global Security Newswire has the story.

McFaul - Amb. Michael McFaul has been given a rude welcome at his post in Moscow. Julia Ioffe in Foreign Policy has a profile of Amb. McFaul and chronicles the difficulties he has faced adapting to his new post in Putin’s turbulent Russia.

Not exactly the 2nd amendment - North Korea yesterday revised its constitution, which for the first time now features nuclear weapons in the preamble.

--Part of the preamble reads, ”National Defence Commission chairman Kim Jong-Il turned our fatherland into an invincible state of political ideology, a nuclear-armed state and an indomitable military power, paving the ground for the construction of a strong and prosperous nation.” AFP has the story.