Category Archives: IAEA

Talking with Iran

Iran’s new president, Hasan Rouhani, told his first news conference that Iran was “ready to engage in serious and substantial talks” about its nuclear program “without wasting time.” President Obama should challenge him to put up or shut up.

The United States and other western countries have been talking with Iran since the 1990s, and no matter who is president in Tehran, nothing ever gets done. The West fears that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, despite Iran’s claim that it is enriching uranium only to fuel nuclear reactors to produce power (or certain medically useful isotopes).

Iran has disregarded warnings from the United Nations and has hidden various activities from inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency (a U.N. body). Offers get made and withdrawn, previous commitments nullified, new conditions thrown in — the whole parade of insincere negotiating has been on display. The United Nations Security Council has approved economic sanctions and the United States and other countries have added some their own. Rouhani, formerly Iran’s nuclear negotiator, said the other side in talks must abandon “the language of pressure and threat.”

IAEA inspectors are still being denied access to Iran’s heavy water production plant at Arak, though they have inspected the reactor there. Heavy water (water containing extra neutrons) has advantages in some power reactors; it also enhances the production of plutonium, a byproduct in all power reactors. Plutonium is good bomb-making material.

Obama should arrange a negotiating session. The opening remark on the American side should be: “The IAEA should immediately inspect, without conditions, anything it wants to, including all of the Arak plant, and if it can’t, that’s the end of these talks. That’s not a threat; it’s a promise.” And Obama must keep it.

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#Iran: We Lie to International Inspectors on Our Nuke Program

Western countries have long suspected Iran of misleading international inspectors over the extent of its nuclear program – and now a top Iranian official has admitted as much. In an interview with the London-based Arabic Al-Hayat daily, Fereydoun Abbasi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, said that Tehran had on occasion “misled” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors on a number of issues.

“At times we submitted false information (to inspectors) in order to defend the nuclear facilities and our achievements, “Abbasi told the paper.” “We had no choice but to mislead the IAEA and other spies.”

Abbasi also described the practical tactics of how Iran misleads the West. “Sometimes we pretend to have a weakness we really do not have,” to throw inspectors off the track; if Iran is not capable of certain more basic things, the thinking is that they could not be capable of more advanced activities. “And sometimes we pretend to have a strength that we do not have. Afterwards, the effect of these tactics is evident when we have discussions with the IAEA,” Abbasi said.

Abassi, who is also a vice-president of Iran, said that the regime felt it had no choice but to act deviously. “It is unacceptable that the IAEA would consider us as a guilty party that has to prove its innocence. There are certain parties that accuse us of all sorts of things, and the IAEA tries to prove these accusations. It is similar to what happened to Saddam Hussein of Iraq.” Hussein was accused of amassing weapons of mass destruction by the U.S., but to date no such weapons have been found.

Abbasi added that Iran is being targeted by spy and security agencies around the world. “For seven years we have been observing British Mi6 agents spying on us, and gathering information on individuals who were eventually killed by Zionist agents.” Abbasi was referring to Iranian nuclear scientists who have been killed in automobile accidents or other incidents. Iran has accused Israel and Britain of being behind the killings, charges both countries deny.

Abbasi, who was speaking during a meeting of the IAEA, said that he did not believe the U.S. or Israel would attack Iran. However, he said that he expected international pressure to remain high, or even grow, with the IAEA bouncing the Iranian nuclear issue back to the UN Security Council for further action.By David Lev

‘Iran has enough uranium for 5 bombs’

Institute for Science and International Security, a US think tank, says that if the Islamic Republic keeps enriching uranium, it will have enough for five bombs.

REUTERS/VIENNA – Iran has significantly stepped up its output of low-enriched uranium and total production in the last five years, which would be enough for at least five nuclear weapons if refined much further, a US security institute said.

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a think-tank which closely tracks Iran’s nuclear program, made the analysis on the basis of data in the latest quarterly UN watchdog report which was issued on Friday.

Progress in Iran’s nuclear activities is closely watched by the West and Israel as it could determine how long it could take Tehran to build atomic bombs, if it decided to do so. Iran denies any plan to and says its aims are entirely peaceful.

During talks in Baghdad this week, six world powers failed to convince Iran to scale back its uranium enrichment program. They will meet again in Moscow next month to try to defuse a decade-old standoff that has raised fears of a new war in the Middle East that could disrupt oil supplies.

Friday’s report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a Vienna-based UN body, showed Iran pressing ahead with its uranium enrichment work in defiance of UN resolutions calling on it to suspend the activity.

It said Iran had produced almost 6.2 tonnes of uranium enriched to a level of 3.5 percent since it began the work in 2007 – some of which has subsequently been further processed into higher-grade material.

This is nearly 750 kg more than in the previous IAEA report issued in February, and ISIS said Iran’s monthly production had risen by roughly a third.

“This total amount of 3.5 percent low enriched uranium hexafluoride, if further enriched to weapon grade, is enough to make over five nuclear weapons,” ISIS said in its analysis.

It added, however, that some of Iran’s higher-grade uranium had been converted into reactor fuel and would not be available for nuclear weapons, at least not quickly.

Enriched uranium can be used to fuel power plants, which is Iran’s stated purpose, or to provide material for bombs, if refined to a much higher degree. The West suspects that may be Iran’s ultimate goal despite the Islamic Republic’s denials.

Iran began enriching uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 percent in 2010, saying it needed this to fuel a medical research reactor. It later expanded the work sharply by launching enrichment at an underground site, Fordow.

It alarmed a suspicious West since such enhanced enrichment accomplishes much of the technical leap towards 90 percent – or weapons-grade – uranium.

The IAEA report said Iran had installed more than 50 percent more enrichment centrifuges at Fordow, which is buried deep under rock and soil to protect it against any enemy attacks.

Although not yet being fed with uranium, the new machines could be used to further boost Iran’s output of uranium enriched to 20 percent.

ISIS said Iran still appeared to be experiencing problems in its testing of production-scale units of more advanced centrifuges that would allow it to refine uranium faster, even though it had made some progress.