Lavizan-Shian Technological Research Center

Also Known As: 

Lavizan Shiyan; Lavisan-Shian

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear


Lavizan-Shian, northeastern Tehran, Iran

Lavizan Shian site on August 11, 2003 (Image courtesy of Digital Global/ISIS)
Lavizan Shian site on March 22, 2004 (Image courtesy of Digital Global/ISIS)
Lavizan Shian site on August 11, 2003, March 22, 2004 and May 10, 2004 (Image courtesy of Digital Global/ISIS)

Located in Lavizan-Shian, a northeastern neighborhood of Tehran; reportedly under investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since 2003; razed by Iran after November 2003; visited by the IAEA on June 28, 2004, and environmental samples taken; Iran also showed the IAEA two whole body counters and a trailer that had allegedly contained one of the whole body counters; this equipment may have been located at the site in the past; the IAEA took environmental samples from the whole body counters and the trailer; according to Iranian officials, a Physics Research Center was established at the site in 1989 for "nuclear defense" and "to provide scientific advice and services to the Ministry of Defense."

Iran gave the IAEA a list of eleven activities that had taken place at the Center but refused to provide a list of equipment used there, citing security concerns; Iran claims that no nuclear material or activities related to the nuclear fuel cycle were conducted at the site; commercial satellite imagery from August 2003 revealed large buildings at the site; commercial satellite imagery from March 2004 revealed that the buildings were removed and the earth scraped; Iranian officials contended that the site had been dismantled in order to return the land to the Municipality of Tehran.

Iranian officials revealed that the whole body counters were acquired from a foreign source; reportedly one was supplied by U.S.-based Canberra Industries Inc., headquartered in Meriden, Connecticut; the device was reportedly sold directly to a university or hospital in the early 1990s with a U.S. export license; Canberra Industries Inc. was licensed to sell over $30,000 worth of electronic and computing equipment to Iraq's Atomic Energy Commission in 1986.

Site first revealed by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in May 2003; according to the NCRI, location of a biological weapons center formed by the Ministry of Defense called Malek Ashtar University; according to the NCRI, headed by Dr. Maqsudi.

Date Entered: 

July 21, 2004

Date Last Modified: 

October 27, 2004