Foreign Policy Blogs

IAEA Tidbits: Iran Responds, the Agency Reports on Its Nuclear Activities for 2010

In advance of the upcoming meetings of the IAEA Board of Governors and General Conference, the Agency has issued two documents for its review which are of note: one quite useful, the other likely to provoke more than a few skeptical chuckles.

The first is a compilation of the Agency’s ongoing activities to fulfill its mandate: the 2010 Annual Report. Showing the tremendous breadth of an agency that continues to operate with limited resources, both human and financial, the 2010 Annual Report catalogs the accomplishments of the Agency’s four technical Departments, including those that address implementation of safeguards and nuclear security. Included in the former are small sections on “implementation of safeguards” in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Syrian Arab Republic, and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, which note that safeguards have, in fact, not been implemented in those countries. Also included: a summation of nuclear trafficking cases cataloged in the IAEA’s nuclear trafficking database and activities to strengthen the IAEA’s ability to implement safeguards.

The second document is the effusively named “Communication dated 9 June 2011 received from the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Agency regarding the Report of the Director General on Implementation of Safeguards in Iran”. The so-called “explanatory note” sent by the Iranian Mission to the IAEA provides a response to the aforementioned DG’s report regarding how the Iranian government continues to stonewall all efforts to determine the real intent of its supposedly peaceful nuclear program.

It includes such gems as:

“The report consists of unnecessarily extensive details on the ongoing ordinary technical activities of the peaceful nuclear activities in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which contravenes the protection of the sensitive proprietary information of Member States.”;

“Since the said Security Council Resolutions have not passed the pertinent legal proceedings and have been issued in contravention of the UN charter, they are by no means legally-binding.”;

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has fully cooperated with the Agency in safeguards application on nuclear material and facilities.”; and of course,

“The Additional Protocol is not a legally binding instrument and is voluntary in nature. Hence, many Member States including Iran are not implementing this voluntary protocol.”

Particularly those who are hiding all manner of covert nuclear weapons activities and who continue to subvert international law and practice in doing so.

Now, even if there is a nugget, an iota of truth in this 12 page missive, the sum of its parts is a giant smoke and mirror-fest. Fess up or shut up. This little Tehranian tango is getting on my very last nerve and is a giant waste of the international community’s time.

As always, folks are at the ready to call Tehran out on its ridiculous antics.

This time, its the Institute for Science and International Security which calls BS on Tehran. In a piece entitled Iran’s Critique of May 24, 2011 IAEA Safeguards Report: Arguments Not Based on Facts, Paul Brannan contends that Tehran’s arguments to the IAEA in its communication are faulty. I’m going to put myself out there are say that Paul may be right.



Jodi Lieberman
Jodi Lieberman

Jodi Lieberman is a veteran of the arms control, nonproliferation, nuclear terrorism and nuclear safety trenches, having worked at the Departments of State, Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She has also served in an advisory capacity and as professional staff for several members of Congress in both the House and Senate as well as the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Jodi currently spends her time advocating for science issues and funding as the Senior Government Affairs Specialist at the American Physical Society. The views expressed in her posts are her views based on her professional experience but in way should be construed to represent those of her employer.

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