VIENNA – New satellite imagery indicate Iran has expanded its uranium conversion site at Isfahan and reinforced its Natanz underground uranium enrichment plant against possible military strikes, a U.S. think tank said…
The Institute for Science and International Security said in an email sent to news media with attached commercial satellite photos that Iran has built a new tunnel entrance at Isfahan, where uranium is processed into a feed material for enrichment.
There had been just two entry points in February, it said.
“This new entrance is indicative of a new underground facility or further expansion of the existing one,” said ISIS, led by ex-U.N. arms inspector and nuclear expert David Albright.
ISIS also featured four satellite images taken between 2002 and January 2006 that it said showed Natanz’s two subterranean cascade halls being buried by successive layers of earth, apparent concrete slabs and more earth and other materials.
The roofs of the halls now appear to be eight metres (26 feet) underground, ISIS said.
An investigative report in New Yorker magazine this month said the United States was mulling the option of knocking out subterranean Iranian nuclear sites with tactical atomic bombs.
President George W. Bush dismissed the story as “wild speculation” and said he remained focussed on diplomacy to defuse the confrontation with Tehran. But U.S. media accounts of air strike planning by the Bush administration have increased…