UN nuclear agency set to close Iran nuclear weapons probe

UN nuclear agency watchdog is expected to end probe into allegations that Iran worked on developing nuclear weapons

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano addresses a news conference after a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, November 26, 2015

The UN nuclear agency is set to close a 12-year long probe into Iran’s nuclear weapons programme on Tuesday due to the landmark deal reached between Iran and six world powers earlier this year.

After Iran and six world powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - agreed on the principle of granting access to military sites within scope of the July 14 nuclear deal, the IAEA was authorised to investigate of nuclear sites in Iran.

IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano said on September after his visit to a Iranian nuclear site that the IAEA found no equipment inside, but did see indications of recent renovation work.

Early in December, the IAEA released a report stating Iran had a nuclear weapons program up to 2003.

However, Iran denied the allegations, saying that its nuclear programme has been for entirely peaceful purposes.

Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi arrives for a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, December 15, 2015

Following the deal, the IAEA put forward a draft resolution to close the investigation into Iran’s past military activities which did not face opposition from the six world powers, which wish to improve economic relations with Iran.

"Iran will become an agenda at the IAEA Board which we hope focuses on its compliance with the Iran Deal – allowing it to move away from consideration alongside the Syrian and DPRK [North Korean] programmes, which it has historically been bracketed with," one Western diplomat said.

The Iran deal was supported by many westerners who argued that the IAEA’s inspection and monitoring of Iranian nuclear sites wouldn’t give time to Tehran to build an atom bomb even it wants to do so.

On the other hand some say Iran’s past actions are reason enough to not close the investigation.

The Washington-based Institute for Science and Technology said that Iran's cooperation was not sufficient to close the overall PMD file.

Tuesday’s draft resolution - which contributes to the process of normalising relations between Tehran and the six world powers which one diplomat commented was "going smoothly" - also requests the head of  the agency to report to the board and UN Security Council if there are "reasonable grounds to belive there is an issue of concern."


TRTWorld and agencies