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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February 26, 2009

A look inside Bushehr, Iran's nuclear facility

MSNBC's Ali Arouzi takes a look inside Bushehr.

As we were bused from the airport in the southwestern coastal city of Bushehr toward Iran's nuclear power plant, the most noticeable feature was the large number of anti-aircraft guns dotted across the landscape to protect the facility from attack.

It was a rare occasion - after years of delays, Iranian and Russian engineers carried out a series of critical tests at Iran's first nuclear power plant Wednesday. The Iranian authorities offered a group of journalists a guided tour of the facility to showcase the event.


[via MSNBC.com]

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September 28, 2008

U.N. tells Iran: Stop enrichment

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a new resolution Saturday reaffirming previous sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment program and offering Tehren incentives to do so.

The brief document reaffirmed the three earlier Security Council sanctions resolutions, which imposed progressively tougher sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment program. [via msnbc.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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May 15, 2008

Contain and Engage: A New Strategy for Resolving the Nuclear Crisis with Iran

Joseph Cirincione and Andrew J. Grotto from the Center for American Progress, have prepared an interesting report on the Iranian nuclear issue.

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December 03, 2007

NIE Report: Iran Halted Nuclear Weapons Program Years Ago

ABC News' Martha Raddatz, Jonathan Karl, Luis Martinez and Kirit Radia Report: In a stunning reversal of Bush administration conventional wisdom, a new assessment by U.S. intelligence agencies concludes Iran shelved it's nuclear weapons program over four years ago.

"We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program," reads a declassified version of the National Intelligence Estimate key findings.

"We judge with moderate confidence that the earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium (HEU) for a weapon is late 2009."

The entire NIE report will remain classified, however the office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassifed version of the key findings that can be read HERE.

More analysis from the New York TImes.

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November 07, 2007

Iran Running 3,000 Centrifuges, Ahmadinejad Says

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today that his nation is operating 3,000 uranium-enriching centrifuges, a milestone in a nuclear program that Western powers suspect could be aimed at nuclear weapons development, the Associated Press reported.

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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 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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Russia Continues to Withhold Fuel From Iran

From Managing the Atom:
Haaretz's reports that while Russia opposes sanctions on Iran they continue to withhold nuclear fuel. This is interesting and shows that while Russia is against the sanctions it is clearly concerned with Iran becoming a nuclear weapons state.
[via Managing the Atom]

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July 09, 2007

Iran Slows Centrifuge Work, Starts New Tunnels

Recent satellite photos show that Iran has begun to excavate a tunnel facility within a mountain next to its Natanz centrifuge facilit. These images were released today by the Institute for Science and International Security. Photographs of the area taken in January showed no activity in the mountains, but images taken June 11 show new roads leading to possible tunnel entrances, the ISIS analysis says.

The construction has raised concerns at the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Vienna-based U.N. watchdog that monitors Iran's nuclear program. On Friday, an IAEA spokeswoman confirmed that the agency has broached the subject with Iranian officials. "We have been in contact with the Iranian authorities about this, and we have received clarifications," said Melissa Fleming, the spokeswoman. She declined to elaborate.

For more analysis, visit armscontrolwonk.com. [via Washington Post]

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June 11, 2007

U.K. Stops Iranian Nuclear Smuggling Effort

British officials have stopped an Iranian effort to purchase weapon-grade uranium from international smugglers, the London Observer reported yesterday.

Over 20 months, British intelligence services monitored a group of British citizens who successfully acquired the uranium from the Russian black market, according to the Observer. The smugglers planned to sell the material to Iran through a middleman in Sudan, investigators said.

Authorities disrupted the plot in early 2006 before the uranium was delivered. [via Nuclear Threat Initiative]

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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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April 10, 2007

Industrial Scale wonk

Jeffery Lewis over at armscontrolwonk has a great post on this whole 'industrial scale' noise from Iran. It is worth the read to blast through some of the mindless noise that is filling the news. Read it here

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April 09, 2007

Iranian Nuclear Threat?

Newsweek's Michael Hirsh asked David Albright about Ahmadinejad's announcement and his assessment of Iran's nuclear program. [via MSNBC.com ]

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Iran announces "industrial" nuclear fuel work

Iran announced on Monday it had begun industrial-scale nuclear fuel production in a fresh snub to the U.N. Security Council, which has imposed two rounds of sanctions on it for refusing to halt such work.

The announcement marks a shift from experimental atomic fuel work involving a few hundred centrifuges used for enriching uranium to a process that will involve thousands of machines. [via Yahoo!]

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March 20, 2007

Russia gives Iran nuclear ultimatum

Russia has told Iran that it will withhold fuel for Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant unless Tehran suspends its uranium enrichment program as the U.N. Security Council demands, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

The ultimatum was delivered in Moscow last week by Igor Ivanov, the secretary of the Russian National Security Council, to Ali Hosseini Tash, Iran's deputy chief nuclear negotiator, the newspaper reported, citing European, American and Iranian officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. State Department had no immediate comment. [via MSNBC.com]

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February 27, 2007

Iran won't halt atomic work

Iran said on Tuesday it would never suspend uranium enrichment as demanded by the West, a day after world powers agreed to work on a new U.N. resolution to pressure Tehran to back down over its nuclear program. "Suspending uranium enrichment is an illegal and illegitimate demand ... and it will never happen," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying.

The United Nations imposed limited sanctions on Iran's nuclear program in December and Tehran faces possible further steps for ignoring a February 21 deadline to halt enrichment, which the West says Iran is using so it can make atomic bombs. [via Yahoo! News

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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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