IAEA Iran Safeguards Report: Iran Degrading Safeguards Effectiveness

Posted: September 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

IAEA Iran Safeguards Report:
Iran Degrading Safeguards Effectiveness; Low Enriched Uranium Production Holds Steady

by David Albright and Paul Brannan
Charts prepared by Christina Walrond

September 6, 2010

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released on September 6, 2010 its latest report on the implementation of NPT safeguards in Iran and the status of Iran’s compliance with Security Council Resolutions 1737, 1747 and 1803. The following analysis highlights the IAEA’s key findings, including 1) production of low-enriched uranium (LEU) at the Natanz fuel enrichment plant (FEP) holds steady and production of nearly 20 percent LEU at the pilot fuel enrichment plant (PFEP) is steady but somewhat less than Iran declared publicly; 2) continued research and development of advanced centrifuges; 3) no progress toward resolving outstanding questions regarding the “military applications” of Iran’s nuclear activities; 4) the IAEA has objected to Iran stating that it would no longer allow two additional inspectors to conduct inspections in Iran; and 5) Iran is digging in its heels on complying with traditional safeguards at the Fordow plant, the Natanz facility, and a newly announced centrifuge plant.

A recurring issue throughout the report, as in the last report, concerns Iran’s minimalist application of safeguards, in particular where the IAEA seeks information about new enrichment facilities that are reportedly under construction, design information for the Fordow facility, centrifuge production, and uranium mining and related activities. The IAEA continues to note that Iran’s refusal to be bound by its traditional safeguards agreement and subsidiary arrangements does not allow the Agency to build confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities.

One has to worry that Iran is working to degrade safeguards to such a degree that if it does decide to divert low enriched uranium or other nuclear material to use in making a nuclear weapon, the diversion would remain undetected for a longer period of time, longer than the current detection time for 3.5 percent LEU of no more than two to four weeks. Add to that Iran’s determination to build centrifuge plants in secret, denying the IAEA’s legitimate request to receive early design information about such plants. The result is that Iran may seek to increase its capability to divert nuclear material in secret and produce weapon-grade uranium in a plant unknown to the inspectors or western intelligence agencies.

In a vastly understated conclusion, the report “requests Iran to take steps toward full implementation of its Safeguards Agreement and its other obligations, including implementation of its Additional Protocol.”

Read the full report at: IAEA Iran Safeguards Report: Iran Degrading Safeguards Effectiveness; Low Enriched Uranium Production Holds Steady

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Comments
  1. GoForesight says:

    Interestingly enough, Iran is following the same path as N. Korea. They will continue to provide no indications on military application, limit inspection access, and eventually take technology and the spent Russian fuel to apply else where. There is no way for the IAEA or Russia to maintain adequate controls to ensure compliance. Enjoyed your piece. Please see some of our entries on this subject at http://www.goforesight.wordpress.com. Thanks for your reporting.

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