Iran Has Continued Uranium Enrichment Activities
Iran Has Continued Uranium Enrichment Activities, Says UN Nuclear Watchdog
Iran has neither suspended its nuclear enrichment-related activities nor complied with all of its obligations under international non-proliferation agreements, according to a report by the United Nations atomic watchdog which states that further verification of the country’s declarations is difficult because of a lack of transparency from the Iranians.
The findings emerge in a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s Director General Mohamed ElBaradei to the Security Council, sent last week and made public today.
In his report, Mr. ElBaradei said Tehran “has not addressed the long outstanding verification issues or provided the necessary transparency to remove uncertainties associated with some of its activities.”
While there are no signs of any reprocessing activities taking place, he said “Iran has not suspended its enrichment-related activities; nor has Iran acted in accordance with the provisions of the [IAEA] Additional Protocol.”
The Council has threatened sanctions if Iran does not suspend uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities, including research and development, and take steps to assure the world that its nuclear programme is exclusively peaceful. Following a resolution on 31 July, the IAEA was requested to report back in a month on whether Iran had complied with those demands.
Mr. ElBaradei reported that Iran has supplied the IAEA with access to nuclear material and facilities, as well as the required reports. But it continues to refuse access to some operating records at an enrichment plant.
Although the Agency plans to maintain its investigation of Iran’s activities, it “remains unable to make further progress in its efforts to verify the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declarations with a view to confirming the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.”
Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis of Greece, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for September, told reporters yesterday that the Council’s five permanent members and Germany are scheduled to meet tomorrow in Berlin to discuss the IAEA report.
Iran has said repeatedly that its activities are aimed at the production of energy only, but the United States and other countries insist it is clandestinely seeking to produce nuclear weapons.
Last August, Iran rescinded its voluntary suspension of nuclear fuel conversion, which can produce the enriched uranium necessary either for nuclear power generation or for nuclear weapons.