IAEA Finds no Proof of Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program

In its April 28 report, the International Atomic Energy Agency mentioned the UNSC mandate to Iran of last February:

‘ • re-establish full and sustained suspension of all enrichment related and reprocessing activities,
including research and development, to be verified by the Agency;

• reconsider the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water;

• ratify promptly and implement in full the Additional Protocol;

• pending ratification, continue to act in accordance with the provisions of the Additional
Protocol which Iran signed on 18 December 2003;

• implement transparency measures, as requested by the Director General, including in GOV/2005/67, which extend beyond the formal requirements of the Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, and include such access to individuals, documentation relating to procurement, dual use equipment, certain military-owned workshops and research and development as the Agency may request in support of its ongoing investigations.

Despite not being fully in compliance with these demands, Iran maintains that it is in fact fulfilling its obligations under the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty.

The IAEA found no smoking gun.

Here is its conclusion, which others will not quote for you at such length:

‘ 33. All the nuclear material declared by Iran to the Agency is accounted for. Apart from the small quantities previously reported to the Board, the Agency has found no other undeclared nuclear material in Iran. However, gaps remain in the Agency’s knowledge with respect to the scope and content of Iran’s centrifuge programme. Because of this, and other gaps in the Agency’s knowledge, including the role of the military in Iran’s nuclear programme, the Agency is unable to make progress in its efforts to provide assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran.

34. After more than three years of Agency efforts to seek clarity about all aspects of Iran’s nuclear programme, the existing gaps in knowledge continue to be a matter of concern. ‘

This ambiguity is being twisted by the Bush administration to make it seem as though Iran has done something illegal. The report can be read to say that there is no evidence that Iran is doing anything illegal.

In fact, under the NPT, countries do have the right to do the sort of experiments Iran is doing. Most of the complaints are not about substance but about something else.

Iran’s president pledged to continue to cooperate with UN isnspectors.

More about Iran later. For now see the next item, where an Iraqi VP says all hell would break loose in Iraq if the US attacked Iran.

Juan Cole  is Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Visit his website www.juancole.com

Articles by: Juan Cole

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