Regarding Iran nuclear site claims this morning from NCRI: what we know about the described sites and/or their activities.

Newly revealed facility in Sorkheh-Hessar region - an administrative-appearing building allegedly used by an SPND Geophysics Group, the "Chamran Group" 1/
Allegedly the team carries out research related to underground nuclear tests, geophysics, and seeks an underground tunnel. Allegedly it has illicitly procured ground penetrating radar and seismometers from abroad. 2/
The site is located south of the Iran Aerospace Organization, and north of the Khojir missile site; this is an area controlled by IRGC. Images show construction began in May 2012, allegedly the Chamran group began using the building in 2017. 3/
Purportedly, the group was originally stationed at Lavisan-Shian, which was relocated to the Mojdeh site in 2008, and the identities and commutes of the personnel are kept secret. 4/
The Chamran Group's existence is known. The U.S. Treasury Dept sanctioned the group in 2019:

"Shahid Chamran Group’s work has included studies on electron acceleration and mass transfer..." 5/
Treasury: "This SPND subordinate group (Chamran) also has conducted research for SPND related to electromagnetics, pulse power, and wave generation."…
Chamran Group's work is discussed in the Iran nuclear archive's Project Midan: developing and building an underground nuclear test site. @TheGoodISIS & @FDD described how Chamran authored a "long report that evaluates the theoretical aspects of building a nuclear test site." 7/
The Chamran Group's report "assessed the depth a shaft needed to be for a particular explosive yield, the behavior of the ground and soil during drilling and an explosion, the methods of back filling a shaft after the emplacement of a nuclear device, and software development." 8/
Chamran also considered different software to assist Project Midan: those with applications in "geotechnical analyses of soil, rock, groundwater, constructs, & ground support, engineering design, safety prediction," and others.… 9/
NCRI also provided new info about Marivan, aka Abadeh. The IAEA requested access to the site in January 2020 because of info in the nuclear archive pointing to Iran using it for high explosive tests relating to nuclear weapons. Iran recently permitted access and sampling. 10/
The nuclear archive revealed that the site is one called Marivan, which the IAEA first described in 2011. @TheGoodISIS documented the location of high explosive tests, photographic evidence, and equipment used at the site.… 11/
NCRI states the area surrounding Marivan is IRGC-controlled; it was built under the direction of Ali Shamkhani, former Min. of Defense & Logistics and current secretary of the Supreme National Security Council; the site is METFAZ-linked and its code name was/is "Ahmad-Abad." 12/
Allegedly Sa’id or Saeed Borji, an explosives and metals expert, had a presence at Marivan. Borji is "suspected to have links to high explosive work at Taleghan, aka Parchin."… 13/
Saeed Borji conducted research work on nanodiamonds, related to Iran's development of a multipoint initiation system for nuclear weapons.… 14/
Borji was sanctioned by the Treasury Dept along with the Chamran Group in 2019, as well as Borji's home entity, the Shahid Karimi Group. This group is "an SPND subordinate group that works on missile and explosives-related projects..." 15/
Treasury: "The Shahid Karimi Group has conducted weapons systems, materials, and explosion research on behalf of SPND."

Thus, Borji's presence at Marivan would not be surprising, if true.… 16/
This is only some of what we know about SPND's Chamran Group, the Marivan site, Saeed Borji, and the projects they worked on. Interested readers should check out the reports and press releases above, and feel free to add on. 17/

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More from @StrickerNonpro

6 Sep
Key findings from ⁦@TheGoodISIS⁩ IAEA Iran safeguards report:

1. Iran’s estimated breakout time as of late Sept 2020 is as short as 3.5 months. Iran may have enough LEU to produce enough weapon-grade uranium for a second nuclear weapon.…
2. The second nuclear weapon could be produced more quickly than the first, requiring in total as little as 5.5 months.
3. Iran’s LEU stock now exceeds by ten-fold the limit set in the JCPOA. As of Aug 25, 2020, Iran has a stockpile of about 3114.5 kilograms (kg) of LEU (hexafluoride mass), all enriched below 5 percent, or the equivalent of 2105.4 kg (uranium mass).
Read 22 tweets
26 Aug
Thread: IAEA & Iran have reached agreement that the agency will visit two sites, which are obliquely identified in the latest NPT compliance report.

1st site: pilot uranium conversion facility

2nd site: high explosive test site called Abadeh

The facility "may have been used for the processing and conversion of uranium ore, including fluorination in 2003" and "underwent significant changes in 2004, including the demolition of most buildings," pointing to it being for uranium conversion. 2/…
As @TheGoodISIS reported in April 2020, a site called the “New Tehran Plant,” was described in the Nuclear Archive, and was "a plant intended as a follow-on uranium hexafluoride production plant under the Amad Plan." 3/…
Read 10 tweets
5 Aug
Yesterday, @WSJ reported that Saudi Arabia is quietly constructing a uranium ore concentration plant with China's assistance. @TheGoodISIS has located a candidate site.

A thread on the Saudis' nuclear activities and issues ahead: 1/…
The Saudis are also nearing completion of a small research reactor built with the help of Argentina: 2/…
The Saudis have not yet updated an old version of their IAEA small quantities protocol or moved to implement a comprehensive safeguards agreement.

In February, IAEA DG Grossi stated that “Saudi Arabia is aware of what their obligations are" with regard to concluding a CSA. 3/
Read 9 tweets
17 Mar
Today, the administration added five Iranian individuals to the Commerce Dept's Entity List. @SecPompeo says they were "involved in Iran's pre-2004 nuclear weapons program, known as the Amad program."

Some background on these men:
Sayyed Mohammad Mehdi Hadavi:

A former Ministry of Defense official, named in the Iranian Nuclear Archive as involved in 2003 decisions to hide nuclear weapons activities that Iran planned to continue.

See our report mentioning him:…
Mehdi Teranchi:

A physicist and current acting president of Islamic Azad University & head of the Supreme Council for Science, Research and Technology commission...
Read 14 tweets
11 Mar
US Ambassador to Vienna’s ⁦@usunvie⁩ stmt to the IAEA Board pulls no punches on Iran:

“Even for Iran, which has a long and truly infamous history of obstructing the Agency, its total refusal to cooperate on these issues is a new low.”…
“First, Iran has refused to address the Agency’s questions regarding possible undeclared natural uranium at a location that has been heavily sanitized.

In the Agency’s assessment, the nuclear material in question may potentially be uranium metal.”
“Second, Iran has refused the Agency access to a specified location for the purposes of assuring the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities, specifically, activities potentially related to uranium conversion.“
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