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UN Atomic Agency Report Brings Iran Nuclear Deal Closer to Reality

The Iran Deal is announced by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at the venue of the nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria on July 14, 2015. Photo by EU External Action Service (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The Iran Deal is announced by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at the venue of the nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria on July 14, 2015. Photo by EU External Action Service (CC BY-NC 2.0)

It's one of the many steps needed before the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions on Iran. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released an assessment report based on four years of research and reporting that concludes there's no evidence that Iran has tried to develop a nuclear weapon since 2009.

According to the report, released on 2 December, Iran did lead initiatives related to developing a nuclear weapon under a program known as “AMAD”. However, the program ceased in 2003, with some related activities of “feasibility and scientific studies” continuing until 2009, after which no related programs continued:

The Agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.

[…] The Agency has found no credible indications of the diversion of nuclear material in connection with the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.

IAEA, which reports directly to the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council, is an autonomous international organization tasked with the promotion of peaceful uses for nuclear energy and the inhibition of its use for military purposes.

This report is one of the many steps towards the finalization of the 14 July nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which aims to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon in exchange for relief from nuclear-related sanctions by the United States, European Union and UN Security Council.

According to an Associated Press report, the agency has left their findings as an “assessment” and would allow Washington and the IAEA's 35-nation board to decide whether to close the case on Iran's nuclear program. The IAEA board will meet on 15 December to decide whether to endorse the 14 July deal. If the board agrees, the IAEA investigation will end, fulfilling one of the key requirements of the deal before the removal of the sanctions.

In reaction to the IAEA report, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi criticized the IAEA for falsely reporting that Iran had past intentions and made efforts to create a weapon, however, welcomed the move towards closing the case.

According to Bloomberg News, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters that “the IAEA has confirmed that Iran met its commitments to provide responses to the agency’s requests,” and explained there will be “assurance that these types of past activities cannot occur again. We’ll have that kind of transparency, that level of access.”

The release of the IAEA report has presented an opportunity for various reactions. Amongst right-wing US politicians, this was identified as a moment “to call Iran's bluff” on past dishonesty about the nuclear program:

For others, like reporter for BBC Persian Service Bahman Kalbasi, this was an affirmation that sanctions, largely put into place after 2010 when Iran's work related to nuclear weaponization had ceased, were needless and vacuous:

  • armydoc2323

    Ballistic missiles, radar, and nuclear bombs are 70 year-old technology. Iran produces precision MRBMs, 3D, and phased array radars. While everyone was obsessing about Ahmadinejad’s idiotic hollocaust-denial, Iran blew past Israel and Turkey to become the 16th leading science producer in the world and the number one leader in the middle east. If they wanted a first-generation bomb, they would have had one by now. They had enough fissile material for at least 8 bombs for the past few years.

    It’s worth noting that despite the regime’s rhetoric, Israel is still on the map. If they did feasibility studies (which as a sovereign nation with nuclear reactors, they would be absolute morons if they failed to do so) and stopped short of building a bomb, that should tell you something. If they’ve clandestinely built a bomb, Israel’s continued existence should also tell you something.

    Namely that the Ayatollahs may be homicidal, but they’re not genocidal and definitely not suicidal. They know they have zero chance of survivng a war with Israel and the only thing they care about is their continued survival and grip on power (at the expense of the Iranian people unfortunately).

    Nobody tells the truth about their nuclear program or any other military program. The US didn’t even brief Churchill about the Manhattan Project, let alone Hitler. Israel won’t even confirm the existence of its nuclear arsenal (now there’s a lesson on “clandestine” for you). Yet the Iranians are “liars” and “cheats” for not spilling the beans to countries that constantly keep threatening to bomb them? Of COURSE they’re going to deny and lie about their military secrets. That’s why they’re called secrets.

    So does the US. So does Israel.

  • Pingback: Jubilation in Iran on "Implementation Day" ending Sanctions | Informed Comment()

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