News & Politics

Iran Once Again Is Denying UN Inspectors Access to Suspected Nuke Sites

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Yukiya Amano of Japan, waits for the start of the IAEA board of governors meeting at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, Monday, June 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

The International Atomic Energy Agency has passed a resolution that demands Iran open two sites suspected of harboring nuclear material or trace elements of uranium. Iran, which is still party to the 2015 nuclear deal with the West, has refused access to the sites, saying it was based on intelligence gathered by Israel.

Reuters:

A resolution, adopted in a vote called after China expressed opposition to it, raised pressure on Iran to let inspectors into the sites mentioned in two International Atomic Energy Agency reports because they could still host undeclared nuclear material or traces of it.

The text of the resolution submitted by France, Britain and Germany and obtained by Reuters said the board “calls on Iran to fully cooperate with the Agency and satisfy the Agency’s requests without any further delay, including by providing prompt access to the locations specified by the Agency.”

The IAEA has tried for several months to get Iran to comply, to no avail.

The IAEA suspects activities possibly related to developing nuclear weapons were carried out in the early 2000s at these sites. Iran has suggested the IAEA is seeking access based on the Israeli information, which it argues is inadmissible. It also says the IAEA file on its old activities has been closed.

The resolution, the first by the board since 2015 and the implementation of the nuclear deal, was passed by a 25-2 margin with seven abstentions, diplomats said.

That Israeli intelligence was obtained in 2018 in a daring raid on a building in an industrial area of Tehran that housed thousands of files relating to Iran’s nuclear program. Information from those files pointed to nuclear research done at the two sites in question, leading the UN watchdog agency to ask for access. It was denied.

Haaretz:

The Iranians began storing the files at the warehouse after signing a landmark 2015 accord on its nuclear program with the United States, European powers, Russia and China. The deal gave the UN nuclear watchdog access to suspected nuclear sites in Iran.

Israel claims that after signing the agreement, the Iranian regime collected files from across the country about the nuclear program, storing them at the warehouse. The warehouse wasn’t guarded around the clock so as to not arouse suspicion.

It’s believed that Iran’s current nuclear program is very low key, but could be ramped up again in a matter of weeks to build bombs in a matter of months. They dismantled nothing. They still have the centrifuges that, thanks to the nuclear deal, have now been vastly improved so that they could produce bomb-grade uranium many times more quickly than before.

Someday, the world will have to decide whether or not to allow the terrorist Iranian regime to possess nuclear weapons. No facile Obama-negotiated nuclear deal — or anything else — will stop them from becoming a nuclear power unless they are physically prevented from doing so by destroying their program.

It would be easier and less costly in human lives to do it now rather than later. But there is no political will here or elsewhere to do it.