The Western nations currently negotiating with Iran over the fate of the country’s illicit nuclear program will “likely stop short of demanding full disclosure of any secret weapon work by Tehran,” according to a report in Reuters:
Officially, the United States and its Western allies say it is vital that Iran fully addresses the concerns of the U.N. nuclear agency if it wants a diplomatic settlement that would end sanctions severely hurting its oil-based economy.
“Iran’s previous activities have to come to light and be explained,” a senior Western diplomat said.
Privately, however, some officials acknowledge that Iran would probably never admit to what they believe it was guilty of: covertly working in the past to develop the means and expertise needed to build a nuclear-armed missile.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, has long demanded that Iran come clean about the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program. Iran has consistently stonewalled IAEA investigations into this matter; earlier this week, IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano stated that “Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the agency to clarify” the issue.
Reuters continued, quoting a flabbergasted Western official:
“I believe the PMD issue is not a deal-breaker even though it probably should be,” another Western official said. The official added that many inside the IAEA and Western governments shared concerns about the deadlocked investigation and felt uneasy about compromising on the issue.
UN Security Council Resolution 1929, passed in 2010 with the approval of all parties currently negotiating with Iran, called on the Islamic Republic to “cooperate fully with the IAEA on all outstanding issues, particularly those which give rise to concerns about the possible military dimensions of the Iranian nuclear programme, including by providing access without delay to all sites, equipment, persons and documents requested by the IAEA.”
If the Reuters report is true, it reflects a change in the Obama Administration’s longstanding demand that Iran fully disclose its PMD. As Barack Obama said in September 2009, “Iran is on notice that when we meet with them on Oct. 1, they are going to have to come clean.” During confirmation hearings to be appointed Secretary of State in 2013, John Kerry, who is currently negotiating with the Iranians in Vienna, said that “The president has made it definitive” that Iran needs to answer all “questions surrounding Iran’s nuclear program.”
A senior Western official told Reuters that they are working at “being creative” at resolving this issue.
[Photo: PersianMedia / YouTube]