Taking a Closer Look at the Abadeh Site

September 11, 2019

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Author: 

Fabian Hinz

Publication: 

Arms Control Wonk

On September 8, Benyamin Netanyahu revealed yet another site that he alleged to be associated with Iran’s nuclear weapons effort. [...] He claimed Iran ‘conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons’ at the facility without mentioning what those experiments were. According to Netanyahu, Israel had learned of the site from the “nuclear archive” that Israel exfiltrated from Iran in early 2018. Netanyahu also asserted that Iran razed the site in July 2019 after determining that Israel knew of its existence.

The facility in question is located at 31.362°N 52.561°E, near the town of Abadeh in Iran’s Fars province. A collection of rather unspectacular buildings, the site offers no signatures that would allow for the clear identification of its purpose, although it does not appear to be a nuclear reactor, reprocessing facility or large-scale enrichment facility. The earliest available satellite imagery available to us shows that the facility was already in existence in 2006, and probably long before that. With the exception of one satellite image taken in February 2011 on which vehicle tracks are visible in the snow, available imagery does not show any signs of activity until early July 2019 when the demolition of the facility began.

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Read the full report at Arms Control Wonk.