From the “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck” files: On Thursday the State Department did its part to salvage the administration’s failed foreign policy legacy by claiming that Iran’s Parchin military base — one of the most controversial elements of the P5+1 nuclear deal — is simply a conventional army base and not a nuclear site that requires inspections.
At Thursday’s press briefing, spokesman John Kirby was asked about the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report released earlier in the day, which said that Iran appears to have built an extension to the covert site since May in a possible coverup of its nuclear detonator testing that the IAEA has reported on numerous times in the past.
Since [our] previous report [in May], at a particular location at the Parchin site, the agency has continued to observe, through satellite imagery, the presence of vehicles, equipment, and probable construction materials. In addition, a small extension to an existing building [appears to have been built].
In October 2014 Iran admitted to using Parchin to test exploding bridge wires, used as nuclear detonators.
But Kirby claimed that “it’s important to remember that when you’re talking about a site like Parchin you’re talking about a conventional military site, not a nuclear site.”
Last week the Associated Press released the text of a side deal between Iran and the IAEA which allows the terrorist-supporting regime to self-inspect Parchin.
A reporter asked Kirby why Parchin is in the IAEA report if it has nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear program. Kirby punted, telling the reporter to ask the IAEA. Per the side deal mentioned above, the IAEA is seeking to clarify military aspects of Iran’s nuclear program, including past nuclear detonator testing, which it has long warned includes Parchin.
The latest IAEA report includes data by several member states which show that Parchin may house hydrodynamic experiments to assess how specific materials react under high pressure. Previous IAEA reports in (2011 and 2012) pointed to nuclear weapons development research conducted at the site.
But thankfully all of us in the U.S. can relax now, and even the people of Israel will have a very good weekend now that we know that Parchin is no longer a nuclear site.
Cross-posted at The Lid