Watchdog: Atomic Agency Report Verifies Existence of Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program
The existence of Iran’s nuclear weapons program was verified last week, according to a statement issued Friday by the New York-based watchdog United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI).
The statement, signed by UANI CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace and Chairman Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, was a response to the Dec. 2 release of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program.
“The IAEA report is disturbing as it reveals that Iran continues to act as a nuclear weapons outlaw,” the statement began. “It exposes that, at minimum, Iran continued nuclear weapons development through 2009. Notably, the IAEA could not describe the extent of Iran’s nuclear weapons program after 2009 because Iran failed to answer basic questions and provide requested information.”
It goes on: “Iran’s intractable refusal to offer transparency regarding its illegal nuclear weapons program is the latest wakeup call regarding the dangerous nature of the Iranian regime. Iran’s defiance regarding its nuclear weapons program is yet another grave risk factor for countries, businesses and persons who would seek to renew business ties to Iran. No responsible country, business or person should risk renewed business with Iran.”
Explaining the impetus for the IAEA investigation and the significance of its conclusions, UANI quoted excerpts from the IAEI report, titled “Final Assessment on Past and Present Outstanding Issues Regarding Iran’s Nuclear Programme,” a document drawn up in the framework of the nuclear deal — known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — between Iran and the P5+1 world powers in July.
From 2002 onwards, the Agency became increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile. Reports by the Director General identified outstanding issues related to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme and the actions required of Iran to resolve these. The 2011 Annex provided a detailed analysis of the information then available to the Agency. The information indicated that Iran had carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. The information also indicated that prior to the end of 2003, these activities took place under a structured programme, and that some activities may still have been ongoing.
The United Nations (UN) Security Council (‘Security Council’) has affirmed that the steps required by the [IAEA] Board of Governors in its resolutions are binding on Iran. Between 2006 and 2010, six Security Council resolutions were adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter and are mandatory, in accordance with the terms of those resolutions… In particular, in its resolution of June 2010 (1929), the Security Council reaffirmed Iran’s obligations, inter alia, to cooperate fully with the Agency on all outstanding issues, particularly those which gave rise to concerns about the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme, including by providing access without delay to all sites, equipment, persons and documents requested by the Agency.
The Agency’s overall assessment is that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003… The Agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.
The IAEA report comes on the heels of two separate threats from Tehran – in the form of an ultimatum – that if the international community persisted in examining the PMD of Iran’s nuclear program, there would be no implementation of the JCPOA.
The first was expressed by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and key nuclear negotiator Abbas Aragchi, in a televised interview on Nov. 26, according to Iran’s semi-official state news agency Fars.
The second was issued on Nov. 29, according to pro-regime Tasnim News Agency, by Iranian Foreign Minister and chief negotiator of the JCPOA Mohammad Javad Zarif, during a joint press conference with his Greek counterpart.
Zarif, who said these were instructions from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, also called the investigation misguided, claiming his country’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful.