International Atomic Energy Chief: Iran Nuclear Deal Reduced Agency’s Public Reporting Requirements
The UN’s nuclear watchdog chief was forced to defend his agency’s latest report on Iran’s nuclear activities, after coming under fire for providing insufficient details about whether Tehran was living up to its commitments under the deal it signed with world powers, the Washington, DC-based The Israel Project (TIP) noted on Monday in an email to reporters.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano was responding to harsh criticism from nuclear-verification experts that his group’s February 26 report — its first since Implementation Day, when Iran was said to have met all of its nuclear requirements under UN Security Council Resolution 2231, and the international community began dismantling the sanctions — was severely lacking in necessary information.
According to TIP, “The IAEA report was supposed to confirm that Iran had indeed met all of its commitments and continued to be in compliance with the nuclear deal. Instead it had several gaps in places where the IAEA had — for years and years previously — reported precise details and numbers.”
Furthermore, it stated:
That same day — on February 26 — the Institute for Science and International Security published an assessment detailing how Iran might be cheating, given what was not reported by the IAEA. The list is wonkish but includes: production of parts for advanced centrifuges, chemical conversion of 5% low enriched uranium (LEU) to put it temporarily beyond use for weapons, and stockpiling of 20% LEU. Then last Friday Olli Heinonen — a decades-long IAEA veteran and the former head of the Agency’s verification shop – came out with another assessment of the IAEA report. It listed additional under-reported areas of potential Iranian noncompliance, including ways Iran might be resisting verification and monitoring commitments.
During a briefing in Vienna on Monday, Amano was asked to explain why his report had gaps. His answer, as TIP pointed out, indicated that the nuclear deal with Iran actually reduced the IAEA’s reporting requirements:
There is a clear misunderstanding. The misunderstanding is that the basis of reporting is different. In the previous reports the bases were the previous UN Security Council Resolutions and Board of Governors. But now they are terminated. They are gone. The bases of our report is the resolution of the United Nations Security Council 2231 and the Board of Governors resolution adopted on the 15th of December. These two resolutions and the other resolutions of the Security Council and Board are very different. And as the basis is different, the consequences are different. What we are doing with that? We are requested by the Resolution 2231 and the Board of Governors resolution on the 15th of December to monitor and verify the nuclear related commitments under JCPOA and report to the Board of Governors and in parallel the Security Council. So I will continue to report based on these resolutions factually and objectively and including the details which the agency considers necessary.