Highlighting concerns over Iran’s failure to cooperate over its nuclear program, a confidential International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report, obtained by journalists on Thursday, said that Iran is still not in “full cooperation” with the IAEA’s two year investigation meant to resolve outstanding questions surrounding the weaponization aspects of Iran’s nuclear program.The IAEA is focused on the possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Iran’s nuclear program and seeks to determine whether Iran has conducted explosives testing or “other activity that could be used to develop nuclear bombs.” Reuters reported that a diplomat, speaking on the current negotiations, said, “With respect to PMD, progress is very slow, if there is any progress at all at this point in time.”
Iran continues to prohibit the IAEA from visiting sites connected to PMDs, including Parchin, a military complex “dedicated to research, development, and production of ammunition, rockets, and high explosives.” New imagery from Parchin suggests Iran has been re-asphalting the site to cover up work related to past weaponization activities.
Iran has a history of concealing its nuclear activities, eluding inspections and violating its commitments. In 2002, it was revealedthat Iran was working on two secret nuclear facilities: Natanz and Arak.The IAEA reported that Iran was in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Additionally, the agency declared that for the previous 18 years Iran had “secretly developed technologies to produce highly enriched uranium.” Then, in October 2003, Iran signed the Tehran Declaration with Britain, Germany, and France and agreed to suspend enrichment during the period of negotiations and comply with the IAEA. Two years later, the negotiations stalled, and the IAEA referred Iran to the U.N. Security Council for non-compliance of the NPT due its continued enrichment and failure to cooperate with the IAEA. Current Iranian President Hassan Rouhani boasted in May 2013 that “he and the regime utterly flouted a 2003 agreement with the IAEA in which it promised to suspend all uranium enrichment and certain other nuclear activities.”
Last month, Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that any final agreement requires “robust monitoring and transparency measures to maximize the international community’s ability to detect quickly any attempt by Iran to break out overtly or covertly.” Iran’s failure to comply with the IAEA underscores concerns about relying on an inspections regime to prevent any future Iranian nuclear breakout.