Friday, February 22, 2008

The IAEA Report

“The Agency is not yet in a position to determine the full nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.” (IAEA Iran Safeguard Report, 22 February 2008)

The long awaited IAEA report on Iranian nuclear program was released today. The report indicates that Iran has answered most of the questions and has resolved ambiguities about the program’s past, save one major issue: the alleged studies on the “green salt” project, high explosives testing and the missile re-entry vehicle. Hence, the agency could not certify that Iran’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

As the readers of this blog are aware, our post on n 1 September 2007 indicated that the US officials have provided the IAEA the evidence that Green Salt involves the production of uranium metal which is the core of atomic bombs, as well as the production of high explosives and missile warheads which altogether would make up the structure of an advanced nuclear weapon program.

Today, IAEA reports that it has indeed confronted the Iranian officials with evidence obtained from the US and other countries on the Green Salt and other relevant information.
- The conversion of uranium dioxide (UO2) into uranium tetrafluoride (UF4) (the green salt project), with a capacity to process about 1 ton per year of UF4.
- A sketch of a process to produce 50 tons of UF4 per year.
- High explosives testing and the design of a missile re-entry vehicle, which could have a military nuclear dimension.
- The testing of high voltage detonator firing equipment.
- The development of an exploding bridgewire.
- The roles of certain officials and institutes and their relation to nuclear activities.
- “Project 4” (possibly uranium enrichment) and laser related R&D activities.

The IAEA reports indicated that on 15 February 2008, the agency proposed to Iran a further meeting to show “additional documentation on the alleged studies” to Iran after being authorized to do so by the countries which had provided them. Iran has not yet responded to the agency’s request.

IAEA has clarified all the remaining outstanding issues. However, the Green Salt and related projects remain unresolved, and as a result the very nature of the Iran’s progam remains unclear.

IAEA board of governors would meet on 3 March to examine today’s report.

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