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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Parchin not a nuclear site: US State Department

Iran Press TV

Aug 28, 2015 1:40PM

The US Department of State has acknowledged that Iran’s Parchin site is a “conventional” military facility, marking a departure from allegations about nuclear activities there.

“I think 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,” US State Department spokesman John Kirby said at a daily press briefing in Washington on Thursday.

“So there wouldn’t be any IAEA or other restrictions on new construction at that site were they to occur,” he added.

The US official's remarks came in response to a question about an earlier report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about the construction of “a small extension to an existing building” at Parchin.

"Since (our) previous report (in May), at a particular location at the Parchin site, the agency (IAEA) 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 constructed," the IAEA report said in its most recent update on Iran’s nuclear program on Thursday.

Kirby's remarks mark a deviation from past claims in the US about Parchin. Iran has repeatedly denied Western allegations about nuclear activity at the site.

Also on Thursday, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Reza Najafi, criticized the agency's statement about Parchin, saying construction work on the site "does not concern" the nuclear agency.

"Iran does not need the agency's permission for construction work on its sites," Najafi said.

Fighting Israeli disinformation

Speaking to Press TV, Mark Dankof, a former US Senate candidate, said the remarks by the US State Department spokesman about Parchin were “very suggestive of what is basically an ongoing campaign of precision and clarification before a final vote is taken in the United States Congress on this P5+1 deal with Iran.”

Dankof referring to the July 14 agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany on Tehran's nuclear program.

He said the US administration will seek to counter the "Israeli disinformation in the American media about what Iran is doing and the nature of Iran's [nuclear] program and the nature of the agreement and the nature of the verification processes that are in place."

Dankof said, “Every time something comes out now that is absolutely false, we are going to see more and more spokesmen from the American State Department… coming forth to clarify these matters to try and keep in focus before the American public that this agreement is sound, that it is verifiable, that it is in the interest of all of the countries involved, and that this agreement need not be sabotaged by Israel and [Israeli Prime Minister] Mr. [Benjamin] Netanyahu or their very very strong lobby in the American Congress and the American news media.”

John Kirby’s statements on Parchin are “well-taken” and "well-spoken," the American commentator stated, adding, “I think he is correct in this regard.”

The "Israeli misinformation" that is being in reported in the Western media regarding the nuclear agreement must be countered, Dankof said.

On July 14, Iran and the IAEA signed a roadmap for “the clarification of past and present issues” regarding Iran’s nuclear program in Vienna, Austria. Iran provided some additional information on Parchin by August 15, further proving that it was complying with the mutual agreement with the UN agency.

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