Engineer Killed in ‘Accident’ at Parchin, Iranian Nuclear Experiment Site

Western governments believe that the facility near Tehran is used for secret experiments connected with the development of nuclear weapons

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Haaretz
A satellite image of the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran, Iran, in 2012.
A satellite image of the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran, Iran, in 2012.Credit: AP Photo/ISIS
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Haaretz

One person was killed and another injured in an "accident" at Iran’s Parchin complex, Iran's Defense Ministry said on Thursday, a military site near Tehran which Western intelligence agencies believe is used for secret experiments connected with the development of nuclear weapons.

The ministry, which said the accident occurred at a "research unit," identified the engineer who died as Ehsun Ghadbeigi.

In 2012, the Associated Press news agency reported that satellite images of Parchin appeared to show trucks and other vehicles, indicating an attempted cleanup of radioactive traces possibly left behind by tests of a nuclear-weapon trigger.

In addition, a diagram showing a special facility designed to carry out controlled explosions at Parchin was leaked by a senior official in an unnamed country monitoring Iranian nuclear activities. He said the cell was used for explosion experiments in 2003, 2005 and 2006. United Nations inspectors also suspect controlled explosions were carried out at the site.

In 2014, two people were killed in a large explosion at Parchin that is believed to have been caused by sabotage. Iran’s Defense Ministry at the time attributed the blast to a fire that had broken out at an "explosives facility."

The Sham News website, which is affiliated with the Iranian opposition, reported then that the explosion could be heard from very far away and that windows were blown out in buildings as distant as 15 kilometers from the site.

    In 2020, Iranian authorities claimed that an explosion in the area of the Parchin was due to gas. An IRGC spokesman said at the time that the blast occurred in a “public area” in Parchin and “there was no connection with military facilities in the area.”

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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