Iran Nuclear Deal: UN Watchdog IAEA states that Iran worked on Nuclear Weapons
According to several media reports, here and here, the UN watchdog IAEA, has reported that Iran took limited steps towards developing nuclear weapons. However, the IAEA stresses that the Iranian efforts did not go beyond planning and testing. The report will now be forwarded to the IAEA’s Board of Directors for further discussion.
The report was one of the conditions to implement the JCPOA between Iran and the P5+1. In this context, Iran had stated that it would refuse to implement the historic deal without the findings of the IAEA.
The IAEA declares that most of the Iranian military oriented work was “coordinated” before 2003, with some activities continuing up to 2009.
The report stresses that “these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities.”
Finally, the UN watchdog states that there is no creditable evidence that Iran continued its military oriented work beyond 2009. However, it added that Iran had not answered all questions, providing little information on some issues, and in some cases, it even provided misleading responses.
There are mixed feelings regarding the findings of the UN watchdog.
- On the one hand, Iran feels vindicated, as the report confirms the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.
- On the other hand, the U.S. Government has stated that the report address adequately outstanding issues regarding the military dimension of Iran’s nuclear program. Further, the JCPOA provides enough safeguards to ensure for adequate transparency.
- Critics of the nuclear deal, also feel vindicated, as it proves that Iran was developing a nuclear bomb. Further, given the wording of the IAEA report, some U.S. lawmakers, against the nuclear deal, declare that Iran is still stonewalling UN inspectors. Therefore, the U.S. should refuse the further implementation of the JCPOA until lingering questions have been clarified.
Let us hope that cooler heads prevail, and let the IAEA do its job. As we all now how horrible the cat-and-mouse game with IAEA inspectors can turn-out….