October 29, 2009

Iran said to seek big changes to draft nuclear deal

Iran formally responded to a U.N. draft nuclear fuel deal on Thursday, proposing big changes that could sink the plan, including sending its low-enriched uranium abroad in stages instead of all at once, Iranian media reported.

Tehran submitted its answer to the head of the International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA), according to al Alam state television. There was no immediate confirmation from the U.N. nuclear watchdog, which had demanded a reply by last Friday.

Nor did Iran's IAEA ambassador, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, confirm the move when asked by reporters at the Vienna-based IAEA. He would only say that Iran's stance was "positive." [via Yahoo! News]

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October 28, 2009

Iran Set to Respond to Atomic Deal this Week - Associated Press

Iran's envoy to the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency will present Tehran's position on a draft nuclear fuel deal in Vienna on Thursday, the semi-official Mehr News Agency reported on Wednesday. Mehr, citing an informed source, said Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh would personally give Iran's response to Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
[via Reuters and Morning Joe]

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October 23, 2009

Iran fails to accept U.N.-drafted nuclear deal

Iran Friday failed to accept a U.N.-drafted plan for it to cut a stockpile of nuclear fuel that the West fears could be used for weapons, and instead said it wanted to buy nuclear fuel from abroad.

The deal drafted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has already been approved by the other parties -- the United States, Russia and France. [via Yahoo! News]

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September 11, 2009

August 2009 IAEA Reports on Iran, Syria

August 2009 IAEA Reports on Iran and Syria. Commentary available at armscontrolwonk.com

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July 25, 2008

Iran won't cooperate with U.N. on inquiry into nuclear program

Iran signaled yesterday that it will no longer cooperate with U.N. experts probing for signs of clandestine nuclear weapons work, confirming the investigation is at a dead end a year after it began.

Iran, which is obligated as a signer of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty not to develop nuclear arms, raised suspicions about its intentions when it admitted in 2002 that it had run a secret nuclear program for nearly two decades in violation of its commitment.

The Tehran regime insists it halted such work and is now only trying to produce fuel for nuclear reactors to generate electricity. It agreed on a "work plan" with the Vienna-based IAEA a year ago for U.N. inspectors to look into allegations that Iran is still doing weapons work.

Britain, one of those suspicious of Iran's nuclear activities, was critical.

"work plan" with the Vienna-based IAEA a year ago for U.N. inspectors to look into allegations that Iran is still doingWe are concerned by reports that Iran is refusing to cooperate with the IAEA on allegations over nuclear weapons,"work plan" with the Vienna-based IAEA a year ago for U.N. inspectors to look into allegations that Iran is still doing the British Foreign Office said in a statement. "work plan" with the Vienna-based IAEA a year ago for U.N. inspectors to look into allegations that Iran is still doingThe IAEA has raised serious concerns over Iran's activities with a possible military dimension. If Iran is serious about restoring international confidence in its intentions, it must address these issues."work plan" with the Vienna-based IAEA a year ago for U.N. inspectors to look into allegations that Iran is still doing

The IAEA asked in vain for explanations from Iran, and its last report in May said Iran might be withholding information on whether it tried to make nuclear arms. [via Union Tribune]

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June 02, 2008

IAEA meets to discuss Iran's alleged nuclear weapons work

The UN atomic watchdog sits down Monday for a week-long meeting during which it will discuss what its inspectors term "alarming" indications that Iran may have been working to build a nuclear bomb until just a few years ago.

The 35-member board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency holds its regular summer board meeting until Friday.

Topping the agenda will be the latest report by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei on the agency's long-running investigation into Tehran's controversial nuclear drive.

Iran insists its atomic program is entirely peaceful, but western countries, and the United States in particular, are convinced the Islamic republic is covertly seeking to build a nuclear bomb.

In the sternly-worded report, the IAEA expressed "serious concern" that Iran is hiding information about alleged weaponization work, as well as defying UN demands to suspend uranium enrichment.

According to intelligence gathered by 10 different countries, Iran may have been looking into high explosives of the sort used in implosion-type nuclear bombs, and exploring modifications to missiles consistent with making them capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.

Iran has repeatedly dismissed the intelligence as fake and fabricated.

Nevertheless, in the report, the IAEA insisted that "substantive explanations are required from Iran." [via Yahoo! News

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Syria to allow probe of alleged nuclear site

Syria will allow in U.N. inspectors to probe allegations that the country was building a nuclear reactor at a remote site destroyed in an Israeli airstrike, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday. [via Yahoo! News]

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August 28, 2007

Iran Agrees to Reveal Nuclear Info

Iran on Monday offered some cooperation with an International Atomic Energy Agency probe of an alleged secret uranium processing project linked by U.S. intelligence to a nuclear arms program.

The Iranian pledge was contained in a memorandum reached between Iran and the IAEA and published on the agency's Web site at the request of Tehran's mission to the agency. In it, Tehran also outlined its timetable for providing other sensitive information sought by the IAEA in its probe of more than two decades of nuclear activity by the Islamic republic, most of it clandestine until revealed more than four years ago. [via ABC News]

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July 31, 2007

IAEA Inspectors Visit Arak Reactor

International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors visited Iran's incomplete Arak nuclear reactor yesterday for the first time since Tehran barred the U.N. nuclear from the site in April, the Associated Press reported.

"The team visited the 40-megawatt research reactor in Arak," said an unnamed Iranian official, according to AP. "The inspection took some five hours." (Nasser Karimi, Associated Press/Washington Post, July 30)

An IAEA official in Vienna confirmed the visit, adding that inspectors had full access to the site, Reuters reported.

The official declined to elaborate, saying that details of the visit would be reported to a September meeting of the agency’s 35-nation governing board.

Arak, if completed, could be used to produce weapon-grade plutonium, one possible ingredient in nuclear weapons (Reuters/New York Times, July 30).

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July 22, 2007

Iran-IAEA Agreement Postive Sign

The head of the UN's atomic energy agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, has welcomed Iran's decision to allow inspections of its heavy water reactor at Arak. He said that after recent talks with IAEA experts, Iran had for the first time agreed to discuss concerns which remain over its nuclear program.

More talks are expected at the agency's headquarters in Vienna this month. [via ]

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July 09, 2007

IAEA and North Korea - Inspection Plan

The United Nations nuclear agency is set to approve an inspections plan for North Korea, a key step in turning the Korean Peninsula into an atomic weapons-free zone.

The International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-member board of governors convened an extraordinary meeting today in Vienna. The diplomats will approve the agency's budget and details of the inspection team's mission in North Korea.

"Following the board's approval, we hope that IAEA inspectors will be able to return quickly to North Korea," U.S. Ambassador to the IAEA Gregory Schulte said today in a briefing. "The shutdown of the facilities at Yongbyon, together with IAEA monitoring and verification, will be an important step toward achieving the common goal of a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons." [via IAEA and Bloomberg.com]

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June 27, 2007

A Year with the Nuclear Police - BBC

This BBC World Service two-part documentary charts a critical time for the nuclear watchdog of the United Nations - the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - as concern grows about the spread of nuclear weapons.

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June 18, 2007

North Korean Reactor shutdown?

North Korea plans to seal its nuclear reactor, the source of weapons-grade plutonium, in the second half of July, Russia's Interfax news agency reported on Monday, citing an unidentified North Korean diplomatic source.

Despite more than two months of delay in beginning the dismantlement of the North's atomic program, it would still be possible to complete the nuclear disarmament of the communist state by the end of the year, the chief U.S. nuclear envoy said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear watchdog, said on Monday a senior delegation would visit the North next week to agree on details for a return of its inspectors to monitor Pyongyang's promised nuclear shutdown.

"To stop the reactor, it will take about a month according to our specialists," the North Korean source was quoted as saying by Interfax.

"So we are counting on sealing it in the second half of July, in accordance with the agreements reached at the six-party talks," the source said. That Beijing forum brings together the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan.

The Interfax report comes as North Korea said at the weekend it had invited IAEA inspectors into the country as part of the six-party deal reached in February to shut down the Soviet-era Yongbyon reactor in exchange for aid.

The diplomatic source said the IAEA delegation would be present at the first stage of stopping the reactor. [via Yahoo! News]

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June 05, 2007

IAEA Understanding of Iran's Nuclear Program Has "Deteriorated"

Top U.N. nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei set the stage today for the Security Council to impose another round of sanctions against Iran. In a report distributed to the council and the International Atomic Energy Agency's governing board, he complained that the agency's understanding of Iran's nuclear program has “deteriorated”

For a good analysis of this, read Jeffery Lewis' comments.

ISIS has posted the May 23, 2007 IAEA report Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran on their website.

It is available for download here.

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May 11, 2007

Iran Turns Away IAEA Inspectors

Iran turned away international nuclear officials last month when they tried to conduct a surprise inspection of Iranian uranium enrichment centrifuges, Agence France-Presse reported today.

The International Atomic Energy Agency personnel were denied access April 21 to a room containing the centrifuges despite an earlier Iranian promise to cooperate with unannounced visits, diplomats said. [via Nuclear Threat Initiative]

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March 14, 2007

ElBaradei upbeat on N. Korea talks

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, described the talks on how North Korea will close its main atomic reactor as "quite useful."

"They said they are fully committed to the February 13 agreement, that they are ready to work with the agency to make sure that we monitor and verify the shutdown of the Yongbyon facility," he said, adding officials in Pyongyang also "reiterated they are committed to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula." [via CNN.com]

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February 21, 2007

Iran and IAEA face off

Despite the threat of sanctions and a looming deadline, the Iranian president again scoffed Wednesday at a U.N. Security Council demand that the Islamic republic halt its uranium-enrichment program.

On December 23, the 15-member Security Council unanimously approved a resolution imposing sanctions on Iran. Russia and China, two veto-wielding members of the Security Council, voted in favor of the resolution despite previously expressing their aversion to imposing sanctions.

Under Resolution 1737, the council requested that International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei report within 60 days on whether Iran has suspended its nuclear activities.

It was initially reported that the deadline expired Wednesday -- 60 days after the December 23 resolution passed -- but an IAEA official told CNN the deadline is Friday. ElBaradei is scheduled to deliver his report Thursday, the official said.

ElBaradei said in Monday's Financial Times that he expected to report that Iran had not complied with the resolution. However, ElBaradei noted, the Security Council will not take any action until he reports to the IAEA board of governors next month. [via CNN.com]

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February 09, 2007

IAEA cuts aid to Iran

The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency on Friday suspended nearly half of the technical aid it now provides Iran, in line with U.N. sanctions slapped on the Islamic republic for its refusal to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

As IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei issued the report to his agency's 35-nation board, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator abruptly canceled planned meetings both with ElBaradei in Vienna and with senior European leaders in Munich, on the sidelines of a security conference in the German city. [via CNN.com

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January 26, 2007

U.N. says Iran plans nuclear development

Iran plans to start installing thousands of centrifuges in an underground facility next month, U.N. officials said Friday, paving the way to large-scale uranium enrichment, a potential way of making nuclear weapons.

Iran ultimately plans to expand its enrichment program to 54,000 centrifuges, which spin uranium gas into enriched material to produce nuclear fuel. That would give it the capacity to produce dozens of nuclear warheads a year, if it chose to develop weapons.

Diplomats briefed on the IAEA's latest findings said earlier this month the Iranians recently finished all pre-assembly work at their Natanz facility, which is underground as protection against attack. And senior Iranian officials have repeatedly said recently that large-scale installation work at Natanz would begin soon. [via Yahoo! News]

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