I Love Bob Kelley

If you’re interested in the Iran PMD issue, which of course I have written about here many times over the past couple of years (see, e.g. here), and in particular Western/IAEA allegations concerning the Parchin military facility (see here), Bob Kelley’s new piece over at LobeLog is an absolute must read. It explains the allegations and their overall incredibility so clearly and comprehensively.

It’s so important to have people like Bob who are highly qualified, independent technical experts, and who can explain such complex technical issues to us non-technical people. And this is important stuff – even though it shouldn’t be, the PMD issue is still very much a part of the ongoing negotiations between the IAEA and Iran, which are of course intimately politically connected to the Iran/P5+1 negotiations.


4 Comments on “I Love Bob Kelley”

  1. yousaf says:

    It’s an excellent piece by Kelley over at LobeLog and summarizes the odd obsession of the IAEA with trying to go Parchin *again* after they went their 2 times already and found nothing.

    Even Reuters is now giving air-time to alternate views of what’s going on with the IAEA and Iran:


    Anyone following the issue is well aware of the politicization at the IAEA. Most analysts just roll their eyes and mutter ‘well, of course the IAEA is politicized’.

    However, most non-technical analysts also think it is well-managed and technically capable in nuclear weapons investigations — they would be wrong, as I pointed out in the National Interest:




    “So why is the IAEA pressing Iran on dubious evidence garnered from adversarial intelligence agencies and not accepting Iran’s contention that at least some of the evidence could be forged, as even a former IAEA director and inspector argue may be the case?

    The answer may be simple, if surprising: there is not much nuclear-weapons expertise at the IAEA. And for good reason: the Agency’s safeguards job has to do with nuclear-materials accountancy, not nuclear weaponry…..But what is currently happening is that IAEA nuclear-material-accountancy experts are trying make technical judgments on weaponization work with which they are not familiar…….

    So the problem arises when the Agency veers from its job of nuclear-materials accountant to try to take on a bigger role of nuclear-weapons investigator, for which it has no mandate, little in-house skill and insufficient funding.


    The situation with imagery analysis at the IAEA may be even more severe: according to a source intimately familiar with IAEA procedures, the safeguards section depends on a single person who was, until a few years ago, a technician on the computer help desk. He went from being a senior clerk to top “P-5” staff-level diplomat within a decade—anomalously fast. This may help explain why the IAEA’s imagery analysis on the Parchin site in Iran has been poorly received by technical experts, myself included.”

    We all saw how the IAEA was caught being incompetent and dishonest (and never even apologizing or explaining their mistake) in how they handled the non-missing “missing” 19.8 kg of natural Uranium:


  2. Johnboy says:

    Has anyone read Gareth Powell’s latest article regarding Iran’s offer to allow IAEA inspectors into the Marivan region?

    The way that Powell writes it the Iranians appear to have called Amano’s bluff regarding this line in the 2011 IAEA report: “Further information provided to the Agency by the same Member State indicates that the large scale high explosive experiments were conducted by Iran in the region of Marivan.”

    Apparently (again, according to Powell) the Iranians have concluded that this “Member state” *cough* *cough* Israel *cough* is big on accusations and short on specifics e.g. breathlessly reporting Dastardly Deeds taking place “in the region of Marivan” while being very vague about the exact location.

    So the Iranians are double-dog-daring the IAEA to poke their nose “in the region of Marivan”.

    Pick a building – any building you like – anywhere “in the region of Marivan” and we’ll let you poke around in that building.

    But if you DON’T find anything……. then we want you to stand up and call BullShit!!! on the intel from that “Member State”.

    Does anyone else know anything about this latest development?

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