Iran’s Failure to Explain Traces of Uranium “Big Problem”, Says IAEA Chief | Iran
Iran’s inability to provide credible explanations for traces of uranium found at two undeclared sites is “a big problem” affecting the country’s credibility, UN nuclear inspectorate says .
Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), also said that Iran and the United States could not simply revert to the old nuclear deal on exactly the same terms as those signed. in 2015, but needed a new agreement on how to handle Iran’s increased nuclear knowledge and its possession of more advanced centrifuges.
Grossi is not directly involved in the talks in Vienna, now in their fifth stage, on the conditions for the return of Iran and the United States to mutual respect for the 2015 agreement, but the technical advice of his organization on Iran’s credibility and how the deal needs to be reworked are critical.
An Argentine diplomat, he has twice saved the Vienna talks from failure by negotiating temporary technical agreements to give IAEA inspectors continued but more limited access to declared nuclear sites in Iran.
The deal implies that Iran will allow sealed cameras to continue to operate inside nuclear sites, but that the IAEA does not yet have access to the footage. He admitted that he is keeping the entire life-sustaining deal while Iran and the United States try to come up with a revamped version of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, named after the Iran nuclear deal of 2015.
He said it was not his job to give Iran an ultimatum to explain the cause of the unexplained uranium found at three sites, one of which Iran said was a carpet cleaning facility , but to report the technical truth. “They know they have to provide an explanation. We ask them to be honest with all of these things because it can only help them.
He said he told Iranian officials: “This will affect the credibility of your country in general and the chances of a broader deal you want to reach with your JCPOA counterparts.”
“My responsibility is the credibility and integrity of the non-proliferation regime,” he said. “I could say ‘don’t say anything’, but five years later something happens, and then it’s a breach of our duty.”
He added: “We found traces of industrially processed uranium in different places, which had not been declared by Iran. It’s a big problem. Some people trivialize it and say ‘this is old stuff’. We need to get to the bottom of this, not for the CEO’s academic obsession, but because it is a matter of non-proliferation.
“We know something has happened here. There is no way around it. We found this. There was material here. When was it? What happened with this equipment? Where is the material. They have to respond.
He described Iran’s cooperation with its lengthy investigation as “a work in progress.”
More generally, he said a linear return to the old JCPOA was not possible in the talks in Vienna. “It is not possible. Iran has accumulated knowledge, accumulated centrifuges and accumulated material.”
There had to be what he described as “a deal within a deal, or an implementation roadmap” on how to deal with Iran’s enhanced nuclear power, including its use. centrifuges more advanced than those authorized by the 2015 agreement.
“They have a lot of options. They can disassemble, destroy, put in a cupboard. What we need to be able to do is verify in a credible and timely manner. “
He said the issue of the knowledge acquired by the Iranians was “very difficult to resolve. They developed new centrifuges. Research and development has taken place. This was not allowed by the original JCPOA. It happened and now the question is how to handle the results. What you absolutely need is a way to verify that if they have this knowledge, it is not being used to make bombs. “