AFP: Iran is still blocking UN nuclear inspectors from crucial military sites, the UN atomic watchdog agency reported Friday, saying full Iranian cooperation was overdue.
by Michael Adler
VIENNA, Nov 18 (AFP) – Iran is still blocking UN nuclear inspectors from crucial military sites, the UN atomic watchdog agency reported Friday, saying full Iranian cooperation was overdue.
“Iran’s full transparency is indispensable and overdue,” Mohamed Elbaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in a report released here.
He said this was despite the access Iran has provided during the past two months, after the UN body threatened to take Tehran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions over non-compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The report has been sent to the 35 member countries on the IAEA’s board of governors, which is to meet next Thursday to consider whether to refer Iran to the Security Council.
Separately, Iran confirmed Friday it had resumed converting new quantities of uranium, in a move in defiance of an IAEA resolution to stop such nuclear fuel work.
Its top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, said in Tehran that had begun a new round of converting uranium ore into the gas that is the precursor for making enriched uranium, which can be fuel for civilian power reactors or the raw material for atom bombs.
Iran insists it has a right to develop nuclear fuel for a civilian program designed to produce electricity but the United States and the European Union fear Tehran is pursuing a clandestine atomic weapons program.
The IAEA report said Tehran must give more “information and documentation related to the procurement of dual use equipment,” material which can be used for either military or civilian work.
It also said Iran must provide access “to relevant military owned workshops and research and development locations.”
These workshops and locations that were part of a physics research center were dismantled and the site where they were located, Lavizan-Shian in Tehran, was dug up before IAEA inspectors visited the razed area.
Earlier this month, Iran let IAEA inspectors visit the sensitive Parchin military site, but the agency “is still awaiting additional information and permission to undertake additional visits,” the report said.
“These should also include interviews on the acquisition of certain dual use materials and equipment, and the taking of environmental samples.”
It said Iran had given documentation on offers that it had in 1987 from an international black market and had allowed two interviews with “individuals” involved in Iran’s talks with this illicit procurement network.
The report said there were also documents “on the casting and machining of enriched, natural and depleted uranium metal into hemispherical forms,” which would be essential in shaping an atom bomb.
Other documents concerned P-1 centrifuges used in enriching uranium and blueprints for making cascades of centrifuges, including “a small plant of 2,000 centrifuges and six cascades of 168 machines, which is how enrichment takes place.
Iran said it only bought “components of one or two disassembled centrifuges and supporting drawings and specifications.”