Posts Tagged 'IAEA report'

Weekly roundup

Articles and reports from the past week
“IAEA report could undermine fuel swap deal”

ISIS provides a close analysis of the IAEA’s latest Iran report, which describes increased LEU production and advanced centrifuge development and calls for Iranian cooperation to resolve outstanding issues (ISIS). Iran’s atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi disputed the report’s findings that Iran was engaging in pyroprocessing (a process that can be used to purify uranium metal for nuclear warheads) and had removed relevant equipment (AFP).
The IAEA’s finding that Iran has over 2,400 kg of LEU could weaken support for the nuclear fuel swap deal, which would require Iran to export only 1,200 kg (Today’s Zaman).

“Leaked letter suggests US open to nuclear fuel swap deal”
In a leaked letter to Brazil’s President Lula da Silva, US President Obama criticizes Iran for undermining confidence-building efforts but offers a “potentionally important compromise” that closely resembles the Iran-Turkey-Brazil deal, leading some analysts to criticize Washington’s cold reaction to the deal (Politico).
Turkey and Brazil are continuing to push the Vienna Group to accept the nuclear fuel swap deal (Reuters), and a group of prominent US analysts and former diplomats at the National Iranian American Council urged Western powers to accept the fuel swap deal (NIAC).

“Sanctions drive weakened by Israel flotilla raid, fuel swap deal”
Barbara Slavin writes that Israel’s raid of a flotilla of aid ships is complicating US efforts toward UN sanctions against Iran (IPS). Gareth Porter adds that the Iran-Turkey-Brazil fuel swap deal is creating division among UNSC members over strong sanctions (IPS). Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that the resolution excludes “paralyzing sanctions” and takes Russian and Chinese economic inerests into account (AFP).
Howard LaFranchi writes that the latest IAEA report could bolster sanctions efforts (Christian Science Monitor).

Weekly roundup

Additional articles and reports from the past week
“IAEA Iran report” (IAEA)
The latest IAEA report on Iran cites growing concern over possible “past and current” military nuclear activities. A BBC report argues that the stronger language of the report indicates a tougher approach under new IAEA head Yukiya Amano.

“The Iran nuclear issue: the view from Beijing” (International Crisis Group)
International Crisis Group argues that despite China’s strategic and economic interests in maintaining strong ties with Iran, China prioritizes its relations with the US and will favor a “delay-and-weaken” strategy over blocking UN sanctions, especially if there is unanimous support among UNSC members.

“Consensus emerges on Iran’s centrifuges” (Arms Control Wonk)
Joshua Pollack outlines an emerging consensus in Western estimates of Iran’s centrifuge capabilities.

“Why chuckles greeted Hillary’s Gulf tour” (Daily Star)
Rami G. Khouri writes that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s warnings of an Iranian threat were plagued by a lack of credibility among Arab states.

“Will engaging Syria deal a ‘blow to Iran’? Not likely” (Syria Comment)
Joshua Landis argues against the claim that Washington’s recent diplomatic engagement of Damascus will deprive Tehran of a key ally.

“Mullahs, guards, and bonyads: an exploration of Iranian leadership dynamics” (RAND)
RAND Corporation provides an extensive overview of Iran’s formal and informal power structures. The report argues that US policymakers should deal with the existing government in Iran rather than attempt to exploit the country’s complex domestic politics.

“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