iOS app Android app More

Iran Nuclear Weapons: New Satellite Imagery Of Country's Nuclear Sites Released (SATELLITE PHOTOS)

First Posted: 11/10/2011 1:27 pm   Updated: 01/ 9/2012 5:12 am

Following a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that expressed "serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme," Google has released new satellite imagery of parts of two cities in Iran with facilities that the United Nations says may be used for nuclear weaponization.

In response to requests from the media, Google on Tuesday released recent satellite imagery of parts of the cities Arak and Natanz. The new imagery is overlaid on satellite images from last year, and shows changes to specific facilities.

From the Associated Press:

The 13-page annex to the IAEA's report released Tuesday included claims that while some of Iran's activities have civilian as well as military applications, others are "specific to nuclear weapons."

Among these were indications that Iran has conducted high explosives testing and detonator development to set off a nuclear charge, as well as computer modeling of a core of a nuclear warhead. The report also cited preparatory work for a nuclear weapons test, and development of a nuclear payload for Iran's Shahab 3 intermediate-range missile - a weapon that can reach Israel.

Natanz:

The BBC describes Natanz as, "the facility at the heart of Iran's dispute with the United Nations Security Council." According to the IAEA, there is a Fuel Enrichment Plant and Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant at the Natanz site.

The Washington Post calls it the largest nuclear facility in Iran, and Reuters reports that it has anti-aircraft guns to defend itself against potential airstrikes.

Mouse over the image to see what has changed on the site in the last year. Moving from right to left, the image that appears is from October 14, 2010. The image that appears moving from left to right is from October 7, 2011.

Arak:

The town of Arak is home to a heavy-water production plant (HWPP). According to The New York TImes, heavy water production plants can be used in the generation of nuclear power, but also to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. The BBC notes, however, that Iran is not building the type of reactor that uses heavy water.

According to the report from the IAEA, the agency visited the plant in August and has requested further access. Iran, however, has yet to reply to the IAEA's request, so the agency is using images from satellites to monitor the site. "Based on
recent images," the report notes, "the HWPP appears to be in operation."

Mouse over the image to see what has changed on the site in the last year. Moving from right to left, the image that appears is from October 14, 2010. The image that appears moving from left to right is from October 7, 2011.

Click here for more on the IAEA report, and click here for more on some of Iran's nuclear sites.

FOLLOW HUFFPOST WORLD

Filed by Timothy Stenovec  |