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Map: Epicenter of quake misses Iran’s nuclear sites

Amid conflicting reports about the number of deaths caused by a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Iran on Tuesday, a map of the country’s nuclear-related facilities shows that the sensitive structures are not located near the epicenter of the quake in southeastern Iran, near the border of Pakistan. But given the magnitude of the quake, ...

ISIS / Foreign Policy
ISIS / Foreign Policy

Amid conflicting reports about the number of deaths caused by a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Iran on Tuesday, a map of the country’s nuclear-related facilities shows that the sensitive structures are not located near the epicenter of the quake in southeastern Iran, near the border of Pakistan. But given the magnitude of the quake, which swayed tall buildings as far away as New Delhi, it’s not yet clear if the regime’s nuclear facilities escaped the damage.

The map, provided to Foreign Policy by the Institute for Science and International Security, shows that the nearest facility to the quake’s epicenter in Sistan-Baluchistan is a uranium mine in Gchine. According to a 2004 IAEA report, the mine is capable of producing 21 tons of uranium per year and contains "low but variable grade uranium ore." The next-closest facility appears to be the Saghan uranium mine, which hasn’t seen substantial mining activity in many years according to the latest reports

At least five people died in Pakistan near the Iranian border, according to local officials speaking with the BBC. Update: AFP reports the death toll is up to 34 in Pakistan. Although Iranian state TV reported at least 40 people killed, Iranian state media now say no deaths have been confirmed. Meanwhile, the Iranian Red Crescent has dispatched 20 search-and-rescue teams and workers in Abu Dhabi have evacuated office buildings. The quake comes days after a 6.3-magnitude  earthquake hit southwest Iran and killed at least 37 people. Our own Ali Vaez has more analysis on that quake and its implications for Iran’s nuclear program here. You can see a fully interactive version of the ISIS map here.

John Hudson is a senior reporter at Foreign Policy, where he covers diplomacy and national security issues in Washington. He has reported from several geopolitical hotspots, including Ukraine, Pakistan, Malaysia, China, and Georgia. Prior to joining FP, John covered politics and global affairs for the Atlantic magazine’s news blog, the Atlantic Wire. In 2008, he covered the August war between Russia and Georgia from Tbilisi and the breakaway region of Abkhazia. He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, BBC, C-SPAN, Fox News radio, Al Jazeera, and other broadcast outlets. He has been with the magazine since 2013. @john_hudson

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