Iran Nuclear NewsIAEA seeks more cameras to track Iran atom growth

IAEA seeks more cameras to track Iran atom growth


ImageReuters: The U.N. nuclear watchdog has asked Iran to allow extra surveillance cameras to avoid losing track of Tehran's burgeoning uranium enrichment operation, senior diplomats familiar with the issue said on Friday.

By Mark Heinrich

ImageVIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog has asked Iran to allow extra surveillance cameras to avoid losing track of Tehran's burgeoning uranium enrichment operation, senior diplomats familiar with the issue said on Friday.

Unsettling Western officials who fear Iran is on a path to nuclear weapons, something it denies, an International Atomic Energy Agency report last week said Iran had more than 7,000 centrifuges enriching uranium or undergoing run-in tests.

It made clear that with the increasing production rate, the Natanz enrichment plant was outgrowing the ability of a limited number of U.N. inspections and cameras to ensure no diversions of nuclear materials for military, bomb-making purposes.

Iran says it wants an enrichment industry for electricity so it can export more of its bountiful oil. But its past failure to report proliferation-sensitive nuclear work to the IAEA and continued curbs on inspections stirred suspicion abroad.

"The IAEA is discussing with Iran (further) containment and surveillance measures, including additional cameras, and other verification procedures so the agency can continue to meet safeguards objectives," a senior diplomat told Reuters, asking for anonymity to discuss confidential information.

Another senior Vienna diplomat said Iran had taken issue with one request for changing "overall arrangements" for surveillance. But the delicate discussions about a solution were continuing without a result yet, various diplomats said.

Measures could include adding cameras or changing angles of existing ones to cover expanding ranks of centrifuges, allowing direct transmission of images to IAEA headquarters — remote monitoring long opposed by Iran — or increasing the frequency and intrusiveness of inspection visits.

IAEA-accredited diplomats regard the matter as a test case for Iranian cooperation with inspectors, which Tehran curbed after being hit with U.N. sanctions over a refusal to suspend enrichment and failure to open up to agency investigations.

A senior U.N. official said last week there was now "a forest of 7,000 machines" in Natanz with installations continuing at a pace that could raise the total to 9,000 soon.

Last week's report said the IAEA had carried out 25 unannounced inspections at Natanz since March 2007 but the latest, planned three weeks ago, was barred by Iran due to what it said was a continuing security drill in the complex.

U.S. nuclear analysts said Iran now had accumulated enough low-enriched uranium to convert into high-enriched uranium (HEU) sufficient for one atom bomb, and would amass enough for two warheads by early next year based on the current pace of output.

However, "weaponising" enrichment would not escape IAEA notice unless done at a secret location. There are no indications of any such covert diversion and Iran has repeatedly vowed to pursue enrichment under regular IAEA monitoring.

Latest news

Iran’s Youths Broke the Spell of Fear

One of the main characteristics of the recent protests in Iran is the courage and fearlessness of the people,...

Iran Is on the Brink of a Revolution

The wall of fear has been broken. In many cities across Iran, women are taking to the streets, leading...

Iran’s Regime Claims To Fill Global Energy Gap Despite Crippled Petroleum Sector

In recent weeks, the Iranian regime’s officials have been constantly exaggerating their huge capacity in oil and gas reserves...

What Is Happening in Iran?

Following the brutal killing of Masha Amini, the Iranian people have once again united to fight and defeat the...

Iran Regime’s Ministry of Culture’s Decision To Eliminate Children’s Intellectual Centers

With the so-called ‘Cultural Revolution’ which took place between 1980 and 1983, the Iranian regime tried to purge the...

Water Shortage Crisis and the Destruction of Iran’s Water Resources

Iran is currently suffering from a number of dangerous natural disasters. One of the most worrying is the drying...

Must read

U.S. Allies Show Strong Support for Strikes on Syria

Iran Focus London, 9 Apr - U.S. allies have been praising...

Three Iran revolutionary guards killed: agency

Reuters: Three members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards were...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you