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Iran provides 20 answers to clarify ambiguities about its nuclear program
Iran's envoy to the IAEA Ali-Asghar SoltaniehIran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali-Asghar Soltanieh has offered the (Non-Aligned Movement) NAM critical information about Iran's nuclear program amid a publicity hype by the Western media over the latest IAEA report on Tehran's nuclear case.
In an extraordinary session of the NAM, held upon Iran's request on Tuesday, Ali-Asghar Soltanieh answered 20 critical questions about Tehran's nuclear program and a host of related issues.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano's latest report on Iran's nuclear activities was circulated among 35 members of the Board of Governors of the agency on Tuesday evening, almost 10 days ahead of the seasonal meeting of the board, due to take place in Vienna on November 17 and 18.
Amano has reportedly attached a 15-page annexation to his report, which focuses on the issue of Iran's alleged studies in the field of military nuclear activities.
According to some of the Western media speculations, the report makes three claims regarding Iran's nuclear activities, which purport that Tehran is pursuing a covert nuclear military program.
One of the claims has been made over satellite pictures of a steel container supposedly used for testing explosives that might be used to detonate fissile material.
The other claim revolves around Iran's hypothetical attempt to build computer models of a nuclear warhead, still another one conjectures that Tehran appears to have received foreign assistance in its experiments with nuclear material.
Soltanieh on Tuesday provided the NAM member states with detailed answers to 20 key questions about Iran's nuclear program.
Question 1: Has the IAEA detected, after 4000 days of most intensive inspection in the agency's history, even one gram of uranium being diverted for military purposes?
Response: No. Please study all of the reports by the agency's current and former director generals.
Question 2: With respect to nuclear activities and materials which are claimed to have not been declared until 2003, has the IAEA found out that they had been diverted towards military activities?
Response: No. All of these activities and materials were audited by the agency. Please study all the agency's reports to the Board of Governors between 2003 and 2004
Question 3: Was Iran ethically obliged to declare Natanz enrichment facility before 2003?
Response: No. Given that nuclear material had not been introduced into the facility until 2003, Iran was under no obligations to declare it. Particularly since Iran had not signed the Revised Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangements, as well as the additional Comprehensive Safeguards (CSA) and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) agreements.
Question 4: Was Iran legally obliged to declare the heavy water research reactor in Arak (IR40) before 2003?
Response: No. Iran was not under any obligation to declare it since no nuclear material had been introduced into it until 2003, particularly since Iran had not signed the Revised Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangements until 2003.
Question 5: Had Iran any obligation under the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement to report Arak's heavy water production plant to the IAEA before 2003?
Response: No, because heavy water and its products are not covered by the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement. Iran started implementing the Additional Protocol in 2003.
Question 6: Was Iran under any legal obligation until 2003 to declare uranium conversion Facilities (UCF)?
Response: No. Since no nuclear material had been introduced into the facility until 2003, Iran was not under any obligations to declare it, particularly given that Iran had not signed the Revised Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangements until 2003.
Question 7: Did Iran have any legal obligation to declare uranium mines including Gachin and Saghand mines?
Response: No, because Iran had not signed and implemented the Additional Protocol until 2003.
Question 8: Has the IAEA detected any nuclear material or activity including enrichment in Parchin and Lavizan-Shian, which are claimed to have been part of a nuclear weapons program after the UN agency carried out intensive inspections, including sampling and analyzing?
Response: No. The director general's press statement about Iran on March 6, 2006 reads, “On transparency, I think I mentioned in my report access to military sites, we have been given access to a number of military sites recently, to Parchin, Lavizan, Shian, to dual use equipment, to interview people. These are beyond the Additional Protocol, but they are essential for us to reconstruct the history of the program.”
On November 15, 2004, the director general reported that the agency had been provided access to the Lavizan-Shian military site where the agency took environmental samples. Finally, paragraph 102 of the director general (GOV/2004/83) says, “The vegetation and soil samples collected from the Lavizan-Shian site have been analyzed, and reveal no evidence of nuclear material.” Further information with respect to this issue is available in November 18, 2005 (GOV/2005/87) and February 27, 2006 (GOV/2006/15) documents.
Question 9: Did the IAEA, in its agreed Action Plan (INFOSIRC/711), announce that there is no other issue in addition to what was listed in 2007?
Response: Yes. The paragraph IV of the document (INFOSIRC/711) says that these modalities cover all the remaining issues, and the agency emphasizes that there will be no issues and ambiguities regarding Iran's previous nuclear programs and activities.
Question 10: Was the IAEA bound to submit the documents related to the “Alleged Studies” to the Islamic Republic based on its Action Plan?
Response: Yes. Paragraph III says, “Although the agency will submit the documents to the Islamic Republic, considering the Green Salt Project, experiments of high explosives and carrying missiles with returning abilities, it will also keep them with itself.
Question 11: Did the IAEA fulfill its obligations regarding the submitting of the evidence pertaining to the allegations to Iran?
Response: No. Please study the report by the former director general to the UN Board of Governors, where he correctly criticizes that the certain country that has provided the agency with the evidence on the allegations has not allowed the agency to submit the documents in question to Iran.
Question 12: Has the IAEA confirmed the authenticity of the content of the “Alleged Studies”?
Response: No. Please study the report by the former director general to the UN Board of Governors, where he correctly brought up the authentic problems with the documents. The director general also clearly explained that the nuclear materials and activities in the “Alleged Studies” are not relevant.
Question 13: What was Iran's obligation toward the document INFOSIRC/ 711 regarding the “Alleged Studies”?
Response: In Paragraph III of the document, which was discussed and agreed upon by the IAEA and Iran, and was to be approved by the Board of Governors specifies, “As a sign of the resolve to cooperate with the agency, based on all the related documents received, Iran will study the document and will inform the agency of its evaluation.”
Question 14: Did Iran, under the work plan, have any obligation to hold meetings, interviews or [allow] sampling regarding the “Alleged Studies”?
Response: No. As mentioned in Response 12, Iran was only obliged to inform of its evaluation. Iran has submitted its 117-page evaluation of the past three years. But the agency has not acted on its obligation to end the Action Plan. Accreting to Paragraph IV of the Action Plan, “The agency and Iran agreed that, following the implementation of the Action Plan and the agreed modalities for the negotiation of remaining issues, the implementation of the safeguards in Iran change to continue in the normal and conventional path.”
Notice: Instead of the Action Plan's conclusion, the secretariat introduced new allegations known as “Possible Military Aspects.” But in Paragraph IV of the Work Plan it is affirmed that “no issue has remained and there not any doubts about Iran's nuclear program and previous activities.”
Question 15: Has the Islamic Republic implemented the Additional Protocol?
Response: Yes. Please study the report by the former director general before 2006.
Question 16: Has Iran implemented the Modified Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangement of the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement?
Response: Yes. Please study the report by the former director general before 2006.
Question 17: Since when Iran has halted its voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol and the Modified Code 3.1? Why?
Response: Iran's Majlis (parliament) voted to stop the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol and the Modified Code 3.1 (after two years and half) regarding the unfair reference of Iran's technical nuclear case to the United Nations Security Council in 2006. The important point is that the Additional Protocol is not a binding legal tool and the Modified Code 3.1 was merely a suggestion by the Board of Governors and is not part of the legal provisions of the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA).
Question 18: Have all Iran's nuclear materials been measured, and are under the complete supervision of the safeguards and remained peaceful?
Response: Yes. Please study the annual Safeguards Implementation Report (SIR).
Question 19: Did Iran itself provide the possibility of unannounced inspections?
Response: Yes. The agency conducted more than 100 unannounced inspections in Iran. The advance-notice for some of them were issued only two hours before the inspection.
Question 20: Why does Iran deem the resolutions by the Board of Governors and the UN Security Council as illegal?
Response: A. In accordance with Article 12 C under the IAEA statute, if the inspectors notice any “non-compliance,” they should report the same to the director general and the later should report to the Board of Governors thereafter. Followingly, the Board will notify the report to the United Nations. None of these procedures have been applied with regard to Iran.
After three years elapsed since 2003, when the issue was raised at the Board of Governors, some members of the Board claimed that there had been “non-compliance” prior to 2003. Nonetheless, the director general did not use the legal term “non-compliance” and instead used the word “failure,” which has also been used with regard to the other countries, which implement the CSA. Based on this agreement, the issue will be considered as concluded after corrective measures are adopted. The former director general clearly confirmed in his report that Iran took all the corrective measures.
B. Article 12 C mentioned in the Board's resolutions speak of “recipient member states,” which have misused the nuclear materials delivered from the Agency. Iran has never received the nuclear materials mentioned in the relevant provisions under the Statute.
C. According to the Statute and the CSA, if the Agency discovers that the nuclear materials have been diverted to military purposes, it will notify the UN Security Council of the same. All the reports submitted by the incumbent and former dire generals so far contain no evidence of nuclear diversion.
D. Based on the CSA, if a member state does not allow the inspectors to enter the country and as a result the IAEA cannot conduct its verification activities, the Agency will notify the UN Security Council of the issue. All the reports by the director general since 2003 have explicitly announced that the Agency is able to continue its verification activities in Iran.
E. The resolutions by three EU member states against Iran from 2003 to 2006 have recognized Iran's move to suspend its uranium enrichment activities as a non-binding, voluntary and trust-building measure. Therefore, the Board of Governors 's resolutions which referred Iran's nuclear issue to the UN Security Council, after Iran decided to suspend its UCF activities voluntarily, are totally in contradiction with the Board's previous resolutions.
It should be mentioned that when the three EU member states proposed the anti-Iran resolutions at the Board of Governors in 2006 with political motives and in an attempt to involve the UN Security Council in an IAEA-related technical issue, enrichment activities in Natanz were still suspended voluntarily.
The last question from peace-seeking nations:
Based on the abovementioned facts, should we allow the IAEA, as the only international body tasked with promotion of peaceful use of nuclear energy for the achievement of peace and prosperity, to be manipulated as a tool by a number of countries which seek to turn the Agency into a watchdog utterly malleable into the hands of the UN Security Council and deprive the developing countries of their “absolute right” to use peaceful nuclear energy as stipulated in the IAEA Statute?