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Unknown Amad Sites, Prior to the Nuclear Archive Seizure
Documentation seized in January 2018 by Israel from the Iranian “Nuclear Archive”1 revealed key elements of Iran’s past nuclear weaponization program and the Amad program more broadly, aimed at development and production of nuclear weapons. The material extracted from the archives2 shows that the Amad program had the intention to build five nuclear warhead systems for missile delivery.
Based on newly released book, Iran’s Perilous Pursuit of Nuclear Weapons,3 many Amad facilities were unknown to Western intelligence and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) prior to the seizure of the Nuclear Archive in early 2018. This table lists 20 main facilities and sites, representing the bulk of the Amad Plan facilities. Of those, the existence of nine major Amad facilities was completely unknown until after the seizure of the Nuclear Archive, which provided great detail about their activities.4 Interestingly, two sites, Shahid Boroujerdi and Al Ghadir, both tunnel complexes, were visible in commercial satellite imagery, but it was not known until the archive that they were part of the Amad Plan and had a nuclear weapons purpose.5 Another three sites were partially known to exist, but their locations were not known. Seven sites were known by location and certain activities, but many additional activities were revealed by the archive. The final location is unknown, and any of its activities are not described in the archive.
About half of the Amad sites were unknown by Western intelligence and the IAEA until after the seizure of the Nuclear Archive. Except in one case, the archive provides much greater detail about the Amad sites that were already known prior to its seizure.