Cablegate: Iaea/Iran: Technical Briefing Largely Repeats

DE RUEHUNV #0628/01 3361451
O 011451Z DEC 08



E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (SBU) On November 21, Ops B Director Herman Nackaerts
provided Member States a technical briefing on the Director
General's (DG) report on Iran that largely repeated the same
points covered in the report. Nackaerts provided an
overview of Iran's enrichment- and heavy water-related
activities and presented a few additional details about
centrifuge operations at Natanz. The majority of the
briefing focused on "possible military dimensions" (PMD) and
how the IAEA expects Iran to cooperate on the IAEA's
investigation. End Summary.

More Specifics About Natanz

2. (SBU) In addition to what was reported in the DG's
report, Nackaerts noted that Iran has maintained the same
number of operating centrifuges as was reported in September,
but has continued installation of the remaining cascades in
the second 3000-centrifuge machine unit. He said that as of
November 7, eighteen centrifuge cascades in unit A24 and five
centrifuge cascades in unit A26 in the Fuel Enrichment Plant
(FEP) at Natanz were operating on UF6. An additional seven
centrifuge cascades in unit A26 were completely installed,
but were not operating on UF6. The remaining six centrifuge
cascades in unit A26 were being installed. The annual
physical inventory verification (PIV) at the FEP at Natanz
was currently taking place and the results will be reported
in the next DG's report before the March 2009 Board.

Expectations for Iran on the
"Possible Military Dimensions"

3. (SBU) Nackaerts highlighted that in order for the IAEA
to verify the correctness and completeness of Iran's
declarations, three things must happen -- verification of the
nondiversion of nuclear material; implementation of the
Additional Protocol (AP); and resolution of all ambiguities
regarding the PMD. He said Iran has not cooperated on two of
these three core requirements. Identifying all the issues
that make up PMD, Nackaerts stated that the "alleged studies,
if correct, point to the development of a nuclear payload for
the Shahab-3," and that the future process for dealing with
PMD issues is for Iran to tackle them as a package and not in
a piecemeal fashion as it had in the past. Nackaerts
emphasized that the IAEA expects Iran to identify elements of
PMD that are accurate and those Iran claims are not, give
serious attention to the entire package of PMD, show what
portion of the alleged work is not nuclear-related, and
provide the IAEA with information that confirms Iran's
statements about the material.

Questions and Answers

4. (SBU) Cuba, France, Canada, Germany, and the U.S. all
asked questions after Nackaerts presentation. Cuba asked if
the Member State that provided the IAEA with the "alleged
studies" documents has allowed the IAEA to provide copies of
the documents to Iran, as the DG noted in both his last
report on Iran and in his opening statement to the September
Board. And if these documents have not been provided to
Iran, why was it not included in the DG's November report?
Nackaerts replied that there had been no change in the
provision of documents, but emphasized that Iran has not
provided the IAEA with any answers since September, which
constituted the "no progress" as noted in the report.
(Comment: Although Cuba, and later Iran (see below),
attempted to place the onus on the U.S. to provide copies of
"original" documentation, Nackaerts' presentation helpfully
did not focus on the issue as he had in his Technical
Briefing in September.)

5. (SBU) France started by rebutting comments made by
Iranian Ambassador Soltanieh during his first intervention
following Nackaerts' presentation about the uranium metal
document, in which Soltanieh claimed there was no need to
discuss the document further and that it was not sensitive,
i.e., could be found on internet, produced by graduate
student, etc. France stated that "experts" in Paris assess
the uranium metal document's only use would be for developing
nuclear weapons, and that although the document is under IAEA

UNVIE VIEN 00000628 002 OF 003

seal, it should perhaps be removed from Tehran and stored in
Vienna because of the proliferation concern. France then
asked if Iran's refusal to allow the design information
verification (DIV) at the IR-40 Heavy Water Research Reactor
(HWRR) in Arak constituted a breach in Iran's Safeguards
obligations. Nackaerts replied that Iran links the DIV
refusal to its unilateral suspension of Code 3.1 of the
Subsidiary Arrangement, which the IAEA does not agree with.
Nackaerts then asked the IAEA's senior Legal Advisor to
reply. Johan Rautenbach replied that it is the right of the
IAEA to ask for the DIV and the right of Iran to refuse, but
the refusal is not consistent with Safeguards obligations.

6. (SBU) Canada asked the IAEA to share the key elements
that led the IAEA to assess the "alleged studies, if correct,
point to the development of a nuclear payload for the
Shahab-3." Nackaerts first noted that the IAEA has not
expressed its opinion of the authenticity of the information,
but in its totality, the information is credible and
comprehensive, and if correct, points to the development of a
nuclear weapon. He reported this assessment is based on the
payload's dimensions and weight, as well as the missile's
re-entry vehicle (RV) modification to carry various other
payloads. Nackaerts also noted that the IAEA shared this
information with the Iranians, who also came to the same
conclusions. The Iranians' conclusions, however, were based
purely on the technical data, and not the accuracy and
authenticity of the material, and in no way did they admit to
conducting such work.

7. (SBU) The U.S. asked if Iran's refusal on the DIV at the
HWRR had long term negative implications for the IAEA's
safeguards assurances at that site, since continued civil
construction would soon make imagery monitoring less useful.
Nackaerts replied that the IAEA last visited the HWRR in
August, so there is not yet a "long term negative
implication." The U.S. also noted that the DG's September
2008 report had referred to possible foreign assistance on
experimentation with initiation of a hemispherical high
explosive charge suitable for an implosion type nuclear
device, and asked if the IAEA had received any cooperation
from the Member State that had been the source of that
assistance to Iran. Nackaerts said the IAEA has not received
any help from the Member State about the possible foreign

Iran's Interjections

8. (SBU) Iranian Ambassador Soltanieh spoke twice during the
Technical Briefing, once right after Nackaerts gave his
presentation, and then again after Cuba spoke. Soltanieh's
first statement was a request for Nackaerts to read the
passage from the August 2007 work plan regarding the uranium
metal document and the "alleged studies" document, so as to
prove to the Board that Iran has met every obligation under
the work plan, and therefore, these issues are completed and
over. Nackaerts replied that he did not have a copy of the
work plan, so Soltanieh, noting that he brought a copy with
him, volunteered to read the requested passages. After
reading the "alleged studies" section, Soltanieh explained
how Iran was not allowed to have copies of the documents and
that even the DG had expressed his own dissatisfaction for
lack of the provision of documents: he again asserted that
portion of the work plan was concluded. Nackaerts agreed
that Iran had fulfilled its obligations to provide the IAEA
with a copy of the uranium metal document, but now the IAEA
has additional questions about it that need to be answered.
Nackaerts also stated that Iran has been given sufficient
access to the "alleged studies" documentation, but Iran has
chosen not to answer the IAEA's questions.

9. (SBU) Soltanieh's second interjection was directed at
France, saying that the uranium metal document was mostly
information found in a text book, and that the French Mission
should report that back to its Paris "experts." He also
noted that Iran could have made a copy of the document
anytime before it was sealed by the IAEA if it had really
wanted a copy. Soltanieh then noted how the Secretariat's
focus on the Green Salt project jeopardized the credibility
of the entire IAEA. He said (as he has in a previous
technical briefing) that one Iranian's "lousy drawings" were
ridiculous, and this one person's work was useless because
the uranium conversion facility at Esfahan is producing 100s
of tons of green salt. Soltanieh emphasized that Iran
decided to suspend Code 3.1 because the issue was "illegally"
moved to the UNSC and that Iran would not implement the AP or
Code 3.1 in the current situation.

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