Bloomberg reports: An Iranian parking lot labeled as a site of “intense concern” by an influential Washington research group hasn’t shown any signs of change for at least five years, according to satellite imagery and analysts.
The Institute for Science and International Security, or ISIS, said in an Aug. 7 research note that Iran’s decision to park 20 vehicles at the Parchin military complex facility was provocative. However, according to 36 satellite images spanning five years, there has always been an average of about 20 automobiles parked at the site since concern over the Parchin complex grew in 2011.
“The ‘parking lot of death’ has been imaged dozens of times and there are clear patterns of passenger cars parked there,” said Robert Kelley, an intelligence analyst and former U.S. nuclear-weapons scientist. “There have been no indicators of a change in Iranian activities of any significance — no earth moving or sanitization whatsoever.”
With debate flaring in Washington over the July 14 agreement between Iran and world powers, some analysts and politicians say activities at Parchin underline the risks of entering into a deal with the Islamic Republic. In a statement on Saturday, Iran said analysts had confused normal roadwork with malicious intentions at the 50 square-kilometer (31 square-mile) complex.
“Parchin is an active site and movement is inevitable,” Paul Ingram, executive director of the British American Security Information Council, said in an e-mailed reply to questions. “Attempting an impossible cleanup in full view of satellites and just before Congressional votes would be stretching conspiracy theories beyond breaking point.” [Continue reading…]