Former IAEA Official: JCPoA has No Verification Method to Detect Iran Computer Systems Designed to Simulate Nuclear Blast
A former senior IAEA official said there will be no verification procedure under the recently announced nuclear deal to detect if Iran decides to develop computer systems for simulating or detonating nuclear weapons.
Speaking during a House Financial Services hearing on Wednesday, 27-year IAEA veteran Olli Heinonen said there were several items related to nuclear development as determined by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official name for the Iran deal announced on July 14, that were “extremely difficult to verify given their non-nuclear nature and lack of easy signature to spot.”
“[These] items include, inter alia, designing, developing, acquiring, or using computer models to simulate nuclear explosive devices, and designing, developing, fabricating, acquiring, or using multi-point explosive detonation systems suitable for a nuclear explosive device,” he said.
Heinonen — who is also a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs — cast doubt on the deal’s ability to ensure reliable monitoring of Iran’s undeclared nuclear sites, which Iranian leaders routinely reject are open for inspection.
Ranking the JCPoA’s verification mechanisms on a 1-10 scale, he gave verifying Iran’s undeclared sites as nuclear free a middling 5 score, perhaps given concerns Iran could actually use the deal to bar nuclear inspectors’ access for weeks.
Opponents of the current Iran deal believe the Obama administration caved on allowing immediate, around-the-clock access to IAEA inspectors in Iran, though Secretary of State John Kerry testified this week that that demand was never even raised in the several years of negotiations.