Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Main features of latest IAEA report on Iran

Yesterday , the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its latest periodic report on Iran’s nuclear activities. The IAEA report contains the latest findings on the status of Iran’s compliance with IAEA regulations obtained through various verification techniques employed by its inspectors and nuclear analysts. As usual, the IAEA report presents both a factual account of latest developments concerning Iran’s nuclear activities as well as an interpretation of the status of Iran’s compliance with its obligations under the IAEA.
Here are the main features of the latest IAEA report on Iran.

1. Despite mainstream Western media accounts of Iran’s nuclear enrichment activities being seriously hampered by various covert US and Israeli sabotage operations, the IAEA report shows that Iran’s nuclear enrichment activities have continued unabated. The following is a more detailed account of this.

-Even though the total number of installed centrifuges at Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) stands the same as in the previous report (-February 2011), the IAEA report shows that Iran has added 676 more centrifuges to those operating. This brings the total number of operating centrifuges to 5860, albeit, according to the IAEA report, not all the operating centrifuges may be fed with uranium gas UF6 .

-The IAEA report shows that since the last reporting period, Iran has produced 499 kg more low-enriched uranium (LEU), thus registering an increase of 28 kg LEU production over the last period, a fact which may be attributed to the increased number of operating centrifuges. Iran is thus now in possession of a total of 4105 kg LEU.

- The IAEA report also shows that Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium to 20% level in two of its centrifuge cascades at the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP, annexed to FEP) continue uninterruptedly. Over the latest reporting period, Iran has produced another 13.7 kg 20%-level LEU thus adding its total stock to 56.7 kg by the end of the current reporting period.
2. According to the IAEA report, all Iran’s {declared} nuclear facilities operate in accordance with the IAEA safeguards rules and there has been no diversion form their stated peaceful goals. As in the previous reports, the latest IAEA report recognizes that “The nuclear material at FEP (including the feed, product and tails), as well as all installed cascades and the feed and withdrawal stations, are subject to Agency containment and surveillance” and that “Based on the results of the analysis of environmental samples taken at FEP since February 2007 and other verification activities, the Agency has concluded that the facility has operated as declared by Iran”.
3. The IAEA report continues to level the same allegations against Iran about the possible existence of undeclared nuclear activities in that country and calls on the Iranian government to cooperate with the Agency to clarify those suspicions. The report lists examples of a number of suspected illegal activities that Iran may have been involved with in the past or at present but presents no evidence to substantiate those allegations.

4. Al in all, apart from providing an update on the progress of Iran’s nuclear activities and verifying the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities over the past three months, the IAEA reports does not present any new information or observation on the status of Iran’s compliance with the IAEA Safeguards rules.

The IAEA report concludes by making the same tired observation that “While the Agency continues to conduct verification activities under Iran’s Safeguards Agreement, Iran is not implementing a number of its obligations, including: implementation of the provisions of its Additional Protocol; implementation of the modified Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary arrangements General Part to its Safeguards Agreement; suspension of enrichment related activities; suspension of heavy water related activities; and clarification of the remaining outstanding issues which give rise to concerns about possible military dimensions to its nuclear programme” and that “ as Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation, including by not implementing its Additional Protocol, the Agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities”. Iran considers these additional demands enumerated in the IAEA report, which have been imposed by the Security Council resolutions, as unlawful and categorically rejects the allegations leveled against it about the possible existence of undeclared nuclear activities in its territory.


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