Assessment of Iran’s Nuclear Activities At Impasse
IAEA Chief Says Efforts To Assess Iran’s Nuclear Activities Are At An Impasse
The Director-General of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today expressed “serious concern” about Iran’s lack of cooperation in allowing investigators to determine whether the country’s nuclear programme is for peaceful or military aims.
A report two weeks ago by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei to the Security Council found that Iran has neither suspended its nuclear enrichment-related activities nor complied with all of its obligations under international non-proliferation agreements.
Briefing the Agency’s Board of Governors at its headquarters in Vienna today, Mr. ElBaradei said that while all the nuclear material declared by Iran to the Agency has been accounted for and inspectors have found little build-up of enrichment capacity at Natanz, the Agency was not able to assess fully the country™s enrichment-related research and development activities, including the possible production of centrifuges and related equipment.
“Because of this, and the lack of readiness of Iran to resolve these issues, the Agency is unable to make further progress in its efforts to provide assurances about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran,” said Mr. ElBaradei. “This continues to be a matter of serious concern.”
The Security 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 that it continues to refuse access to some operating records at an enrichment plant.
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.