“IAEA report validates evidence of military studies, urges Iran to cooperate”

“IAEA report validates evidence of military studies, urges Iran to cooperate”
August 28-31, 2009
     In its latest report on Iran, the IAEA describes evidence of military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program as sufficiently consistent and comprehensive to merit requiring more information from Iran. The report calls for more information regarding studies of high explosives and missile re-entry vehicles, both of which could be used for nuclear military purposes, and a confidential letter on the Green Salt Project [a military program that could link the Revolutionary Guards to the nuclear program]. Although the IAEA “continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material”, Iran has yet to implement Code 3.1 [which requires the early provision of design information on new nuclear facilities] or suspend enrichment- and heavy water-related activities as required by the UNSC. The IAEA urges Iran to provide cooperation and implement its Additional Protocol and also writes that the refusal of [Western] states to share more evidence is complicating its verification efforts (IAEA).
     The ISIS writes that while the number of active centrifuges has decreased from 4,920 in June to 4,592, the increased number of total centrifuges (now 8,308) is significant as filling them with uranium is a “relatively minor step”. The ISIS notes that at Iran’s current LEU production rate, Iran will have enough LEU to enrich and produce weapons-grade uranium for 2 nuclear weapons by the end of February 2010 (ISIS). Yossi Melman writes that an unidentified explosives expert mentioned in the IAEA report as having visited Iran is a Russian national (Haaretz).
     Iran’s IAEA ambassador Ali Asqar Soltanieh told local media that the report proves that Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful (Fars News Agency), and Ali Akbar Salehi, the new head of Iran’s nuclear agency, stressed that Iran is cooperating with IAEA inspectors and argued that referring the Iranian nuclear file to the UN would be “illegal” and lacking in legal foundation (Agence France-Presse). However, the Iranian daily Tabnak stated that the IAEA report was negative and infringed on Iran’s sovereignty (MEMRI). Israel’s Foreign Ministry has stated that while the report is “harsh”, it does “not reflect all the information possessed by the IAEA” (Jerusalem Post).
IAEA | ISIS | Haaretz | Fars News Agency | Agence France-Presse | MEMRI | Jerusalem Post

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2 Responses to ““IAEA report validates evidence of military studies, urges Iran to cooperate””


  1. 1 William deB. Mills September 1, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    You state: “The ISIS writes that while the number of active centrifuges has decreased from 4,920 in June to 4,592, the increased number of total centrifuges (now 8,308) is significant as filling them with uranium is a “relatively minor step”.”

    This relatively minor technical distinction seems to me to constitute an extremely important negotiating tactic: namely, “Look, we can do what you don’t want, but we are offering to desist.”

    Iran has absolutely no reason to trust the West. Iranian leaders would be remiss to give something away for nothing. But this either is an offer to compromise or could be transformed into one by skillful Western diplomacy.

    Washington needs to seize the moment, treat it as an offer, and make an attractive counteroffer. If I were an Iranian national security official, what I would want as a counter would be the international imposition of some constraint on the Israeli nuclear juggernaut.

  2. 2 Kentaro Ide September 2, 2009 at 1:48 am

    The decreased number of active centrifuges has been one of the major points of discussion related to this new IAEA report. Given the latest round of reports indicating that Iran hopes to resume talks, the decrease may be part of Iran’s negotiating strategy (Reuters recently had a story about “pragmatists” in Tehran calling for a halt to enrichment before the June elections, but apparently, the calls were rejected by Khamenei). However, there may simply be other reasons, perhaps technical, for the decrease. I have not come across any concrete evidence for either theory.

    At this point, I believe a US-led constraint on Israel’s nuclear capabilities, especially in the context of an offer to Iran, is highly unlikely. The US and the EU appear more confident on the Iranian nuclear issue than they have been since the June elections, whereas Iran has yet to fully recover from the post-election turmoil. I will be looking for more details on Iran’s upcoming nuclear proposal as they come.

    Kentaro Ide
    Managing Editor, Iran in the World

    (The views in this comment are mine alone and are not intended to represent the views of the Iran in the World staff, the Simons Centre for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Research, or any other affiliated bodies)


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