Jerusalem, Mar. 5 – The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitors nuclear activity, said Monday the organization is unable to conclude that Iran’s nuclear program is non-military.
Director General Yukia Amano opened the IAEA Board of Governors meeting in Vienna saying Iran was not cooperating with his agency to prove that its nuclear activities were for peaceful purposes.
“The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement,” Amano said. “But, 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.”
The IAEA began a week-long meeting Monday at its headquarters in Vienna. While other issues are on the agenda, the central discussion of Iran’s nuclear program was described as the “gorilla in the boardroom.”
Amano censured Iran for failing to fulfill its international obligations. He said despite Iranian claims its nuclear program was civilian only, “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.”
Last week Iranian officials refused to allow IAEA inspectors access to key nuclear facilities where increasing Iranian secrecy has led to suspicions in the international community that nuclear weapons development is taking place there. The U.N. and other international players have imposed several rounds of increasingly-harsh sanctions on Tehran in a bid to force it to open its facilities to inspection and stop the enrichment of uranium.
A report in the German newspaper Die Welt Sunday described the findings by Swedish nuclear physicist Lars-Erik de Geer, who concluded that an Iranian nuclear device may have been tested in North Korea in 2010. De Geer examined nuclear fallout that indicated the nuclear tests were with bombs containing uranium, not plutonium as used in previous North Korean atomic bombs.
“For years intelligence agencies have noticed close cooperation between North Korean and Iranian experts regarding the preparation of nuclear tests,” de Geer wrote in his findings.