IAEA Report Says Iran Probe is Stalled

May 30, 2015  

Amid accelerated international efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, the UN atomic agency on Friday reported that work on an assessment of allegations that Tehran worked on atomic arms remains essentially stalled, according to The Associated Press (AP).

The report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also reiterated that more cooperation is needed by Iran for full clarity on its present activities. Without it, the IAEA said, it cannot “conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”

Iran and the IAEA agreed in November of 2013 on a new attempt to probe the accusations. The United States and its allies also included the investigation into a to-do list for talks with Iran meant to curb its nuclear programs in exchange for sanctions relief.

Washington continues to insist that full lifting of sanctions depends on the IAEA’s ability to thoroughly probe the accusations and deliver an assessment on its findings.

Iran denies any work on — or interest — in nuclear arms. It accuses Israel, the United States and other adversaries of providing phony evidence to the agency for the probe.

The IAEA is focused on 12 alleged activities that point to Iranian attempts to make such weapons, including suspicions that Tehran worked on the development on a nuclear payload for missiles.

The IAEA relaunched its probe two years ago by asking for information on less sensitive work related to nuclear arms allegedly carried out by Iran, with hopes of moving to larger issues later.

However, the IAEA has continuously reported little progress in its attempts to probe the allegations against Iran, and IAEA director general Yukiya Amano recently said that the agency had limited progress in its inquiry into possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear activities.

The agency already indicated back in November that Iran is refusing to answer questions on the military aspects of its program.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Geneva on Saturday in an effort to move the nuclear talks forward ahead of a June 30 target date for a deal.

The confidential report issued Friday by the IAEA increased doubts that the agency could issue substantive findings on the allegations by that time, noted AP.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said the allegations are “one of the issues that we’re working to resolve in the nuclear negotiations.”

He urged Iran to “cooperate fully and without delay with the IAEA to resolve all the outstanding issues, in particular those that give rise to concerns about possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.”

The report, obtained by AP, said that Tehran had recently shared some information sought by the agency but continues to hold back on the next stage of the IAEA probe.

A senior diplomat with knowledge of the issue said the material was related to nuclear modeling and calculations that the agency suspects could be linked to arms. The diplomat, who demanded anonymity because the information shared was confidential, declined to say whether the information was presented by Iran as proof that the suspicions were false or if they possibly pointed to corroboration of secret nuclear weapons work.

The IAEA report, issued to the agency’s 35-nation board and the UN Security Council, said the agency remains “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 missiles.”

“Iran is required to cooperate fully with the Agency on all outstanding issues,” it says, according to AP.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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