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IAEA Report Found Iran in Violation of Last Year’s Joint Plan of Action

Reuters reported on Saturday that the recently released International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s nuclear program shows that Iran violated one of the commitments it made in last year’s Joint Plan of Action (JPA) with the P5+1 powers.

Reuters cited an analysis of the IAEA report prepared by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS):

ISIS, whose founder David Albright often briefs U.S. lawmakers and others on nuclear proliferation issues, cited a finding in a new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about Iran.

The confidential document, issued to IAEA member states on Friday, said that since the U.N. agency’s previous report in September Iran had “intermittently” been feeding natural uranium gas into a single so-called IR-5 centrifuge at a research facility.

The IR-5 is one of several new models that Iran has been seeking to develop to replace the erratic, 1970s vintage IR-1 centrifuge that it now uses to produce refined uranium.

The analysis (.pdf) reads:

Of note, the IAEA states in this report that Iran has fed UF6 into the single installed IR-5 centrifuge in Cascade 2. Both the November 2013 and the February 2014 Iran safeguards reports stated that the “single installed IR-5 centrifuge has yet to be fed with UF6.” Thus under the interim deal, this centrifuge should not have been fed with UF6 as reported in this safeguards report.

Iran has denied the charge made by the Institute. According to the semi-official Fars news agency:

Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi dismissed a US think-tank report that Iran has violated its undertakings by injecting gas into its home-made IR5 centrifuges.

“Iran has violated neither its safeguards undertakings nor the Joint Plan of Action (the Geneva agreement) which was inked in Geneva last year because Iran can repeatedly inject gas not only into one machine (centrifuge) but also into a cascade and continue its R&D activities,” Kamalvandi told FNA in Tehran on Sunday.

However a plain reading of last year’s JPA (.pdf) contradicts Kamalvandi’s assertion. According to the JPA, Iran has committed to “not make any further advances of its activities at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant.” Specifically, this meant that “Iran will not feed UF6 into the centrifuges installed but not enriching uranium.” As the Institute for Science and International Security noted, the IR-5 had not been previously used for enrichment.

In addition to this violation, the IAEA report faulted Iran for failing to account for its past nuclear research activities, including possible military dimensions of that research.

[Photo: U.S. Department of State / WikiCommons ]