Thanks to Russian nuclear fuel and technology, Iran's first nuclear power plant -- under construction for 36 years -- held an official launch ceremony Aug. 21, and is expected to go online in the next few months. As Iran prepares, the world watches ... and worries.
WASHINGTON – New satellite photographs published by a Washington think tank appear to show intensified efforts by Iran over the past week to cleanse a military site south of Tehran suspected of being used for nuclear-weapons research.
The Iranian actions could affect a tentative deal reached last week between Tehran and the United Nations' nuclear watchdog that was aimed at granting inspectors expansive access to facilities, scientists and documents allegedly related to nuclear-weapons work.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has specifically been pressing Iran to allow inspectors to visit the military site, known as Parchin, which the agency believes may have been involved in the testing of high explosives used to simulate a nuclear detonation.
IAEA officials have increasingly cited access to Parchin as a key barometer to gauge Iranian willingness to address the international community's concerns that the country is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran says its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes and that Parchin is a conventional military site.