Mideast Research Institute: Iran May Reject Nuclear Deal After IAEA Report Delivered to UN
The International Atomic Energy Agency report on the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program were not supposed to affect the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a study published Tuesday by the Middle East Media Research Institute said.
The study, carried out by the director of MEMRI’s Iran media project, Ayelet Savyon, MEMRI President Yigal Carmon and research fellow Uriel Kafash, reviewed the IAEA report released last week and the Iranian political reaction to it.
The analysts concluded that the IAEA report would not become an obstacle to implementing the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers even if IAEA Secretary-General Yikiya Amano determined that Iran had in fact been developing nuclear weapons.
“From the outset, it was agreed that all that Iran was obligated to do was to cooperate with the IAEA investigation of its PMD, and nothing more,” the analysts wrote, continuing:
The next milestone date for the continued implementation of the JCPOA is December 15, 2015, when Amano’s PMD report will be presented to the IAEA Board of Governors and the latter will resolve whether to close Iran’s PMD dossier in the IAEA. This resolution is meant to be adopted by the UN Security Council.
The implementation process is meant to be continued by Iran – that is, Iran must meet its obligations under the JCPOA. These consist primarily of the removal of nine tons of low-grade enriched uranium from the country, the dismantling of centrifuges so that only 6,000 active ones remain, the pouring of concrete into the core of the Arak nuclear reactor such that it will not be able to be used to manufacture plutonium, the adoption of the Additional Protocol, and more.
After that, the IAEA will check to verify that Iran has carried these out; when it announces that it has, the next milestone date, Implementation Day, will come into force. At that time, Europe and the U.S. will carry out their promise, made October 19, 2015, to lift and suspend their sanctions on Iran.
However, they explained, “It was Iran itself that made Amano’s PMD report a problematic issue, and, essentially, a condition for its continued implementation of the JCPOA.” Iran would not be satisfied with the report unless it proved that the country was never pursuing nuclear weapons, they explained.
To this end, they wrote – and as The Algemeiner reported – Iran was pressuring the IAEA and the P5+1 group negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program “with the aim of ensuring that the report would completely clear Iran of suspicions regarding PMD,” even as international inspectors were conducting their research and before Amano’s findings were released.
Iran also warned the world powers negotiating with it — the US, Russia, Germany, France, UK and China — that they would have to choose between accusing Iran of having worked to develop nuclear weapons, which it religiously denies, or implementing the JCPOA, said MEMRI.
As for the IAEA’s report on Iran’s nuclear weapons program, MEMRI analysts said it was mixed.
On the one hand, it stated: “The Agency has not found indications of an undeclared nuclear fuel cycle in Iran, beyond those activities declared retrospectively by Iran. The Agency has found no indications of Iran having conducted activities which can be directly traced to the ‘uranium metal document’ or to design information for a nuclear explosive device from the clandestine nuclear supply network.”
However, it also said: “The Agency assesses that explosive bridgewire (EBW) detonators developed by Iran have characteristics relevant to a nuclear explosive device.”
With regard to the Parchin facility, Amano’s PMD report stated that “[t]he information available to the Agency… does not support Iran’s statements on the purpose of the building.” Furthermore, the report stated that “the Agency assesses that the extensive activities undertaken by Iran since February 2012 at the particular location of interest to the Agency seriously undermined the Agency’s ability to conduct effective verification.” It continued:
“The Agency assesses that Iran conducted computer modelling of a nuclear explosive device prior to 2004 and between 2005 and 2009. The Agency notes, however, the incomplete and fragmented nature of those calculations… The Agency assesses that, before the end of 2003, an organizational structure was in place in Iran suitable for the coordination of a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. Although some activities took place after 2003, they were not part of a coordinated effort. 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 also assesses that these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities. The Agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.”
MEMRI assessed that even if Iran’s threats bear fruit, “It is not clear that a formal closure of the dossier… would satisfy Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, or whether he would block Iran’s implementation of the JCPOA because the Amano report’s findings do not exonerate Iran.”