IAEA Declines to Inspect an Area Where They Formally Alleged Weaponization Activities Took Place in IranPosted: December 15, 2014
Here is another absolute must read piece from Bob Kelley over at LobeLog. He titled it “The IAEA Faces a Major Credibility Test,” and he hit the nail right on the head with that title. What he’s talking about is the recent offer that Iranian officials made to the IAEA to come and inspect a site in Iran, in the city of Marivan in Northwestern Iran, that was named in the IAEA’s 2011 PMD report as being linked to weaponization-related activities. The IAEA has declined the invitation to visit. This paragraph from Bob’s piece sums the situation up perfectly:
Marivan is important. In fact, it is the litmus test for the credibility of the IAEA’s 2011 report. If the IAEA claims detailed knowledge of a test and its location, it is critical that it work with Iran to verify that information. If, however, the information turns out to be false, irrelevant, inactionable or beyond the scope of IAEA’s expertise, then the agency should either withdraw its 2011 “Weaponization Annex” or issue a revised report after a thorough vetting of the rest of its contents. As noted above, the large-scale high explosive experiments are the most detailed claim in the agency’s weaponization report. That claim needs to be investigated and resolved, and the IAEA’s reluctance to do so is deeply disturbing.
I agree with Bob that the IAEA’s decision to decline this invitation is in essence an admission by the IAEA that this allegation in its November 2011 report was incorrect. And if this allegation was incorrect, by the IAEA’s on implicit admission, then that should call into question all of the allegations in the 2011 report. Again, the sources of these allegations were never made public, or communicated to Iran, or subjected to any transparent qualitative assessment. The question of the IAEA’s ability to assess third-party-source information about nuclear weapons programs is something that Bob has addressed at length before.
Although I doubt it actually will, this development should make all of the Iran hawks in NGOs and in governments think twice about the evidence they are relying on in their rush to scuttle diplomatic negotiations between Iran and the West.