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Iran Pushes the Envelope on Complying with the Nuclear Deal, While Inspectors Give Cover, by David Albright and Andrea Stricker (Institute for Science & International Security, via Mosaic)

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Nov. 18, 2016

The IAEA report “borders on deception by omission.”

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as required by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the accompanying UN resolution, released its fourth report on Tehran’s compliance with the limitations set on its nuclear program. The report concludes that the Islamic Republic is following some of the terms of the deal, but also makes it clear that in other areas Tehran is stretching the limits and may even be violating the agreement. Perhaps more troubling, write David Albright and Andrea Stricker, is what the report leaves out:

The report does not discuss, and is cast in a way as to [create] doubt, whether the inspectors have visited Iranian military sites, including the Parchin site, as part of [the] legitimate need to verify bans on certain nuclear weaponization activities and develop confidence in the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activity as mandated by IAEA safeguards and reinforced by the Additional Protocol [to the agreement]. . . .

We have learned that Iran has used or will use an advanced IR-6 centrifuge for stable-isotope work under a special project with Russia. . . . This use of the IR-6 is at odds with the stated JCPOA requirements. However, we do not know if the Joint Commission [tasked with supervising the deal’s implementation] has made an exemption for the use of the IR-6 for stable-isotope production or otherwise interpreted this use of the IR-6 as “not incompatible” with the deal. . . .

The IAEA reporting continues to lack critical technical details about implementation of the agreement. The IAEA’s sparse and overly generalized reporting borders on deception by omission and is contradicted by independent reporting pointing to problems in the implementation of the JCPOA. . . . This continued lack of information in the IAEA reports combined with the ongoing secrecy surrounding the decision-making of the Joint Commission is a serious shortcoming in the implementation of the JCPOA and raises legitimate questions about the adequacy of Iran’s compliance.

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