Iran Caught Scrubbing Nuclear Evidence at Parchin

Meanwhile, Israel asks US for weapons

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 8, 2012 7:06 AM CST | Updated Mar 8, 2012 7:45 AM CST

(Newser) – Diplomats from the UN's nuclear agency say they've seen satellite images of Iranian trucks and earth-moving vehicles working at Iran's Parchin site, in what they suspect is an attempt to scrub the area of radioactive traces ahead of the IAEA's visit. Diplomats tell the AP that they saw trucks hauling off soil that they suspect could have been contaminated in tests of a nuclear weapon trigger mechanism—whose only purpose, one diplomat said, would be related to a nuclear weapon.

Israel touted the pictures as evidence of "what Israel has been saying all along … the Iranian nuclear program is not benign." Israel seems increasingly eager to attack Iran; one official confirms for Reuters that in his visit to the White House, Benjamin Netanyahu requested bunker-busters and refueling planes, both of which would be conspicuously useful in an attack on Iran. An Israeli newspaper reported that President Obama had agreed, in exchange for promises Israel wouldn't attack this year, but Reuters' source called that "unrealistic."

In this 2005 photo, Ali Safavi of the National council of resistance of Iran (NCRI) tells journalists that IAEA inspectors missed nuclear sites during their visits to Parchin.
In this 2005 photo, Ali Safavi of the National council of resistance of Iran (NCRI) tells journalists that IAEA inspectors missed nuclear sites during their visits to Parchin.   (Getty Images)
Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh is surrounded by media and security when leaving the IAEA board of governors meeting in Vienna, March 8, 2012.
Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh is surrounded by media and security when leaving the IAEA board of governors meeting in Vienna, March 8, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
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