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, 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.

ISIS / Foreign Policy


Muslim Brotherhood leader points to conspiracy behind Boston bombing

A common criticism of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has always been that it delivers one message in English to an international audience, and another message entirely in Arabic to its domestic audience. If anyone is ever looking for an example of this, they need to look no further than the Islamist organization's reaction to the bombing of the Boston Marathon.

In English, the Brotherhood's political party released a statement "categorically reject[ing] as intolerable the bombings committed in the U.S. city of Boston," and "offer[ing] heartfelt sympathies and solemn condolences to the American people and the families of the victims."

In Arabic, senior Brotherhood leader and the vice chairman of the group's political party Essam el-Erian took a different tack. In a post on his Facebook page, he condemned the Boston attack -- but also linked it to the French war in Mali, the destruction in Syria and Iraq, and faltering rapprochement between the Turkish government and Kurdish rebels.

El-Erian is making the case that all of these setbacks -- from Boston to Baghdad -- are somehow connected. "Who disturbed democratic transformations, despite the difficult transition from despotism, corruption, poverty, hatred, and intolerance to freedom, justice tolerance, development, human dignity, and social justice?" he asked. "Who planted Islamophobia through research, the press, and the media? Who funded the violence?"

El-Erian just poses those questions -- he doesn't accuse any specific group of masterminding the Boston Marathon attack or the unrest across the Middle East. But while Brotherhood leaders feel free to indulge in such conspiracy-mongering in Arabic, these claims are notably absent from the group's English-language media. 

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