Diplomacy

IAEA Chief: Iran Must Account for Past Nuclear Work, Allow Inspectors for “Years and Years”

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano once again called on Iran to cooperate with his agency’s investigation into Iran’s past nuclear work on Monday, and said that IAEA inspectors would have to be in Iran for “years and years” in order to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

Amano said that Iran “need[s] to accelerate” its cooperation in disclosing its past nuclear work with the IAEA. However, Amano also said that if a nuclear deal is concluded with Iran, his agency would still have to have a presence in Iran to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is strictly peaceful. As The Wall Street Journal reported (Google link) today:

Mr. Amano said it would take years for the U.N.’s atomic agency to come to a final broader conclusion that Iran’s nuclear program is fully peaceful. During that time, Iran’s obligations under the so-called Additional Protocol mean Tehran would have to give detailed explanations of its nuclear activities every three months. If the IAEA has concerns about the information, it can seek clarifications or request access to sites where it believes illicit activities may be taking place.

“We will continue these activities for quite a prolonged period of time and then, after making our efforts, we come to the point when we can provide credible assurance that there is no indication of activities other than peaceful activities,” Mr. Amano said at a news conference. “This is a long process and full cooperation from the country is needed.”

The IAEA chief said there was no way of telling in advance how long it would take the IAEA to declare Iran’s program is fully peaceful. “But it’s a matter of years at least. Not months. Not weeks. Years or years and years.”

If ratified and observed by Iran, the Additional Protocol would give IAEA inspectors greater access to Iran’s nuclear program. Iran signed the Additional Protocol a decade ago but still has not ratified it. Iran would be called on to ratify the Additional Protocol as part of any nuclear deal with the West.

 

[Photo: IAEAvideo / YouTube ]