IAEA Continues to Verify Iran’s Compliance with JCPOA; So Far Refuses to Re-open Iran’s PMD FilePosted: March 1, 2019 Filed under: Nuclear 4 Comments
I recently came into possession of the IAEA Director General’s February 22, 2019 report to the Board of Governors on IAEA verification activities in Iran. See it at the link below. It states in relevant part that
Iran continues to provisionally apply the Additional Protocol to its Safeguards Agreement in accordance with Article 17(b) of the Additional Protocol, pending its entry into force. The Agency has continued to evaluate Iran’s declarations under the Additional Protocol, and has conducted complementary accesses under the Additional Protocol to all the sites and locations in Iran which it needed to visit.
and in summary that
The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and locations outside facilities where nuclear material is customarily used (LOFs) declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities for Iran remained ongoing.
This isn’t news other than the fact that the IAEA, once again, determines that Iran is fully living up to its end of the JCPOA, even though the US is no longer keeping its commitments under the deal.
This is in keeping with the U.S. intelligence community’s recently re-iterated assessment that Iran is not currently undertaking activities relevant to developing a nuclear weapon, contrary to high profile yet erroneous assertions by the Trump administration.
It is also remarkable that this report does not mention the trove of documents which Israel claims to have appropriated from a storage facility in Iran and which, Israel says, provides evidence that Iran lied about its past nuclear weapon related activities.
Even though Israel and the U.S. have been lobbying IAEA Director General Amano hard to re-open the IAEA’s assessment regarding the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program, which it provided in 2015 in conjunction with the adoption of the JCPOA, so far the IAEA does not seem impressed by the alleged revelations. At least not impressed enough to change their assessment, or even mention the new claims in this most recent report.
I think it’s important to keep noting that Iran, as well as the other JCPOA parties other than the U.S., are still committed to the deal and recognize its importance. The U.S. decision to cease upholding its commitments under the JCPOA was wrongheaded – based on incorrect assertions about Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, and in the end clearly just the product of a President who thinks that no deal agreed to by anyone but him is any good.
Thanks for that useful information. just worth to note ahead:
Much depends on the execution of that EU – Iran plan, for circumventing sanctions through financial or transaction agreement between Eu and Iran. Iran it seems, may loose patience, if it is not appropriately compensated through the new arrangement.
Here for example, bearing the title:
“Iran’s nuclear chief warns EU patience is running thin”
“Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities for Iran remained ongoing.”
Has this been present in other reports? I thought it was formally agreed that the IAEA was to formally come to a conclusion on all existing ‘lines of investigation’ as part of the JCPOA. And as far as I remember, they did. Any idea what they are still ‘evaluating’?
I would read this as meaning that PMD file had indeed been reopened. I wonder how you can read it as its exact opposite.
To give context to this:
The “absence of undeclared” standard is part of the Additional Protocol treaty and the 93+2 enhanced verification standard. Iran has implemented the AP as part of the JCPOA deal (and had regularly exceeded it previously by for example allowing visits to Parchin, despite not being a member of that treaty which is separate from the NPT. In 1991 Iran voluntarily invited the IAEA to visit any sites it wanted and the IAEA visited at least 5 sites between then and 2002, with nothing ever found. The IaEA even visited Iran’s uranium mines and Iran announced its uranium conversion facility to the IAEA in 2000, years before the 2002 “exposure” of Iran’s “clandestine” nuclear program.)
It takes years for the IAEA to verify the absence of undeclared materials and activities, in the case of Japan more than 20 years, and several countries have refused to sign the AP including Egypt, Argentina, Brazil.
in the meantime the language continues to be used as a rhetorical spin to demonize Iran as in the past, by maintaining the pretense that it means Iran must be hiding something. Michael Spies of Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy has explained:
“the statement “not yet in a position to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities,” which is presently true for Iran, is also true for 40 other states including Canada, the Czech Republic, and South Africa…For some it is tempting to declare, based on the inability of the IAEA to presently draw a conclusion on the absence of nuclear activities, that Iran continues to operate concealed facilities and that any such facilities must be for a military program. But the IAEA has cautioned that the lack of a conclusion does not imply suspicion of undeclared nuclear materials and activities, as the matter is frequently spun in the media.”
We should remember that while the Trump administration violated the JCPOA (which is in fact considered a treaty under international law regardless of its designation as an executive agreement under US domestic law, and is thus as binding as any other international treaty aside from being the subject of a UNSC resolution) the JCPOA was largely dead-letter from inception under the Obama administration, what with things such as prohibitions of U-turn dollar transactions that effectively made it impossible for any commercial deals with Iran to go through the international banking system among other things. So lets not put it all at Trump’s feet.