Diplomacy

Iran Again Blocks IAEA From Suspected Nuclear Weapons Development Site

The Iranian regime threw up another roadblock in front of the international community, rejecting IAEA requests for access to its top secret Parchin military base where it is suspected to be carrying out nuclear weapons development.

Iran’s move makes it more likely that Tehran won’t be able to fulfill five specific steps by Aug. 25 that it had agreed to in May to help allay international concerns.

Iranian officials alleged that no new activity had taken place at Parchin since the IAEA last inspected it in 2005. However, the IAEA discovered suspicious activity at Parchin and for several years has repeatedly asked Iran for access to the site.

Last year the Director General of the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, Yukiya Amano, showed his frustration with Iran’s failure to cooperate and prove that it was not developing nuclear weapons:

“Access to the Parchin site has not been granted. I am therefore, once again, unable to report any progress on the clarification of outstanding issues, including those relating to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.”

Earlier this year Amano told the meeting of the IAEA governors:

“The Agency continues to seek answers from Iran to the detailed questions provided to Iran regarding Parchin and the foreign expert, and to request access to a particular location at the Parchin site. Since the Agency’s first request for access, extensive activities have taken place at this location that will have seriously undermined the Agency’s ability to conduct effective verification.”

Again two months ago in June despite repeated rounds of negotiations with the international community, Amano’s continued aggravation with Iran’s stalling tactics was again evident:

“The Agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”

Last year Iran agreed to talks with the international community in order to resolve its refusal to abide by repeated UN Security Council resolutions. The UNSC had imposed harsh sanctions on the Islamic Republic over Iran’s refusal to cooperate with the IAEA. However, the Iranians have missed repeated deadlines and have been continuing to defy the UN resolutions and enrich uranium.

[Photo: IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano – IAEA Website]