With Eyes On Iran’s Nuke Facilities, US Reorganizes AFTAC

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Iran has signed a nuclear deal with world powers that aims to limit its capabilities to develop nuclear warheads. But there is little reason to believe that Tehran would moderate after the deal. Aaron David Miller, the VP of Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, believes that the Islamic Republic is “consolidating” its repressive and authoritarian character instead of moderating it.

Iran modernizing its missile technology

Just days after the Iranian parliament approved the nuclear deal, Tehran released an unprecedented footage of an underground missile base. It claimed that it had several such missile bases as deep as 500 meters underneath mountains. Iran also tested a long-range ballistic missile, and has vowed to modernize its missile technology. Meanwhile, the United States Air Force is reorganizing its nuclear intelligence unit to keep an eye on Iran’s nuclear activities.

The USAF announced (via National Interest) last week that its secretive Air Force Technical Operations Center has activated five new squadrons. The Technical Surveillance Squadron (TESS) provides the Air Force with surveillance to monitor treaty compliance. It will also detect, identify and locate nuclear explosions underwater, underground, in the air or in space. Technical Operations Squadron (TOPS) conducts reconnaissance missions via aerial sampling, radar systems, and technical sensors to provide quality technical measurements involving weapons of mass destruction.

Washington may keep a close tab on Iran

The Technical Support Squadron (TSUS) provides AFTAC with training, standardization, evaluation, intelligence support, command staff and operations support to 17 locations worldwide. The fourth squadron, Technical Sustainment Squadron (TSMS), empowers AFTAC with innovative global logistics and maintenance support, as well as quality sustainment of the U.S. Atomic Energy Detection System.

The fifth squadron Cyber Capabilities Squadron (CYCS) gives AFTAC decisive and assured cyberspace capabilities through its global network of through its data management, architecture, systems engineering and integration services. Even though U.S. allies like Israel fear that loopholes in the nuclear deal may allow Iran to secretively continue its nuclear program, Washington has set everything in place to keep a close tab on Iranian nuclear activities.