Isfahan

Iran Claims to Have Decoded All Data From Captured ScanEagle and RQ-170 Drones: What Did They Learn?

Iran has published reports in which it claims to have decoded all data carried by the recently captured ScanEagle drone and the RQ-170 Sentinel drone captured last year. As proof of this decoding, Iran provided descriptions of the missions flown by the surveillance drones. The described mission for the ScanEagle fits well with what would be expected for its use, but the description for the RQ-170 conflicts with widely published accounts in the US media.

The decoding of the mission for the ScanEagle was reported last week, just one day after it was captured:

“Yes, we have fully extracted the drone’s data…,” the IRGC Public Relations Department said on Wednesday, referring to the ScanEagle drone — a long-endurance aircraft built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing.

“The drone, in addition to gathering military data, used to pursue gathering data in the field of energy, especially the transfer of oil from Iran’s oil terminals,” the department said.

It said that the capture of the aircraft helps discovery of “what kind of data they (the Americans) are after.”

This report for the ScanEagle fits well with what we were told about the use of ScanEagles in the region when Iran first made the claim of capturing this drone. However, the report today on decoding data from the RQ-170 Sentinel drone captured last year is more confusing: Continue reading

Explosion Reported Near Iranian Uranium Processing Facility

Iranian nuclear facilities (Wkimedia Commons map)

According to Haaertz, the Iranian Fars News Agency is reporting (although I don’t see a story yet at their website or at Mehr News) an explosion in Isfahan, where an Iranian uranium processing facility is located:

A explosion rocked the western Iranian city of Isfahan on Monday, the semi-official Fars news agency reported, adding that the blast was heard in several parts of the city.

/snip/

It should be noted that Iran operates a uranium conversion plant near Isfahan, one with an important function in the chain of Iran’s nuclear program.

It first went into operation in 2004, taking uranium from mines and producing uranium fluoride gas, which then feeds the centrifuges that enrich the uranium.

The underground centrifuge facility at nearby Natanz was previously attacked by the Stuxnet virus and is seen as perhaps the most important Iranian enrichment facility.

When today’s explosion and the recent death of Hassan Moqaddam, the head of Iran’s missile program, in an explosion of dubious origin while hawks nattered on about the IAEA Iran report, are coupled with the Stuxnet attack, it appears that the Iranian nuclear program is being attacked simultaneously at all points along the path that could lead to a weapon on a missile.

Was today’s explosion an escalation of that battle?

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @alanhkaiser What? Sorry, that's fucking nuts. Of course he's lying. @trevortimm
29mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @liferstate Oh, they're generally sorted. I need to go through & decide what to keep, what someone might want, what has too many annotations
30mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @billmon1 Nothing a few InfoOp fliers can't fix.
45mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @John_Hudson Well, I think I've got a solution! Primary challenge threats! It's the solution to everything!
52mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @B_Amer Yup. Didn't expect that kind! Music related? @alreinke
55mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @John_Hudson To be fair, kind of hard for city to deal w/100 year flood and top 10 snow year in same year. Blame Fat Al Gore.
56mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @B_Amer ? Am I not looking closely enough at pics? @alreinke
58mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @B_Amer Fun pic. Looks gorgeous. (Tho hot.)
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @polyparadigm Since DeVos may demand anything on threat of primaries, he should just demand they use some ... novel material.
1hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Gaius_Publius Yes, saw them once or twice a year back in the day against the Suns. Still, been long time, had forgotten ho evil really were
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @B_Amer You missing someone??
1hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @MazMHussain No. By calling white "terrorists" hate criminals, they avoid doing any network analysis. http://t.co/PyxTwyh8Bj
1hreplyretweetfavorite
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