Nuclear Sites

Physics Research Center

The Physics Research Center (PHRC) was a military facility that operated mainly in the 1990s.  The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has collected evidence that supports that the PHRC conducted parallel, undeclared military fuel cycle activities.  The November 2011 IAEA safeguards report lists the PHRC’s role in Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons and military fuel cycle efforts and successor organizations. 

ISIS obtained approximately 1,600 telexes detailing the procurement activity of the PHRC in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The information in these telexes and evidence gathered by the IAEA support that the PHRC managed a parallel, secret military nuclear program in the 1990s whose long-term aim was to lay the basis for Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Reports based on the telexes can be found here.

Iran continues to deny allegations about the PHRC’s past military nuclear activities.  According to the November 2004 IAEA report, Iran declared that the Physics Research Center was established at Lavisan-Shian in 1989 for “preparedness to combat and neutralization of casualties due to nuclear attacks and accidents (nuclear defence) and also support and provide scientific advice and services to the Ministry of Defence.”  Iran insisted that “no nuclear material and nuclear activities related to fuel cycle were carried out at Lavisan-Shian.”

Iran’s explanations lack credibility.  As a result, the IAEA has continued to investigate the PHRC’s past activities.  In particular, the IAEA has investigated reports that the PHRC had sought to acquire dual-use equipment relevant to “enrichment and conversion activities.”  While some issues have been resolved, the bulk of the questions remain unanswered.  Since 2008, Iran has refused to discuss the IAEA’s questions and concerns about the activities of the PHRC.  In 2012, Iran stated that it would no longer answer the IAEA’s questions about procurement.

For more information check: Related Reports