New imagery of Esfahan shows no destruction at uranium facility

Not hurt put on Esfahan UCF.

As previously reported, the UK Times reported in late November that satellite imagery showed “billowing smoke” and destruction at Iran’s uranium conversion facility (UCF) east of Esfahan.

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) has a report out today, however, with new commercial imagery showing no destruction whatsoever at the UCF.  The imagery date is 3 December, five days after the blast.

As readers can see, Continue reading “New imagery of Esfahan shows no destruction at uranium facility”

That uranium conversion facility at Esfahan? Not a priority target

Whoi’s hitting non-priority targets?

I’m posting a comment on this because a UK Times reporter has reported being told by Israeli intelligence that the explosion that rocked Esfahan on Monday damaged the compound with the uranium conversion facility (UCF).  (The Times article is reprinted at The Australian.)

The first affirmative quote offered in the article is in this sentence:

Israeli intelligence officials told The Times that there was “no doubt” that the blast struck the nuclear facilities at Isfahan and that it was “no accident.”

Later, an Israeli intelligence source is quoted as follows: Continue reading “That uranium conversion facility at Esfahan? Not a priority target”

Iran: Conflicting reports on new blast near Esfahan

Blowing (stuff) up.

Local officials are offering different explanations for the blast that rocked Esfahan (also spelled Isfahan) a few hours ago.  It will be some time before there is enough information to make a good assessment, but a few things can be said now.

First, although the probable location of the explosion hasn’t been clarified, comments from the provincial governor suggest that it was on the east side of the city.  The governor claimed that the blast resulted from a military training exercise at the air base co-located with the Esfahan International Airport, which is situated on the east side of the city.  Presumably his comments, whether true or not, were intended to offer an explanation consistent with the local inhabitants’ experience of the blast.

The Esfahan nuclear compound is located east of the metro area, but there are good reasons to doubt Continue reading “Iran: Conflicting reports on new blast near Esfahan”

Cyprus: The mouse that went boom

Yet more interesting times.

You’ve got to feel for Cyprus.  The island starts out divided between Greek Cyprus and “Turkish Northern Cyprus,” an entity created by a Turkish armed invasion in 1974 and recognized by, well, Turkey.  With her historical Greek roots, Greek Cyprus – an independent nation – has extensive exposure to Greek government bonds, and has been fighting a rearguard action throughout 2011 to prevent a faster downgrading of Cypriot public debt.  (Some US states now face a somewhat similar potential domino effect from the downgrading of US debt.)

Arms and the explosion

Back in January 2009, Cyprus was the unfortunate flag state of the M/V Monchegorsk, chartered by Iran to transport arms to Syria in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1747. Continue reading “Cyprus: The mouse that went boom”