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
bmaz @sarahljaffe @michaelwhitney @chrislhayes This is simply unconscionable.
5mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @GideonApocBox @armandodkos Uh oh, this sounds like trouble. But interesting! Will Armando be there too??
9mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @cbl2 @nancyleong They can't do that, might blow their super-sekrit surprise!
12mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @sahilkapur @espinsegall @Profepps @DCCyclone Also, think his dissent in Hollingsworth supports that conclusion.
13mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @khaama: Faizi defends expulsion of New York Times reporter from Afghanistan http://t.co/13AIYJmTN2 http://t.co/G7J3MnXY15
13mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @sahilkapur @espinsegall @Profepps @DCCyclone Also, insights from mutual friends, including couple of judges.
15mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @sahilkapur @espinsegall @Profepps @DCCyclone Myriad of things, but mostly his history, not just Lawrence+Romer but on social justice in gen
16mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @sahilkapur @espinsegall @Profepps @DCCyclone And, by the way, trust me, having the fancy degree is WAY overrated. You are better off.
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emptywheel @MalwareJake Right. I've seen it asked most systematically for NYers w/homes in FL. But never real systematic study, which should be doable.
19mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @sahilkapur @espinsegall @Profepps @DCCyclone I am absolutely convinced he was ready on Perry, but RBG thought was going too fast+hesitated.
19mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @cbl2 @nancyleong Yikes!
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bmaz @espinsegall @sahilkapur @Profepps @DCCyclone Agree. Anything short of delivering the deal+his legacy is as a coward. That ain't happening.
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