Lack of information about Iran's nuclear program makes it difficult to estimate rate of its development
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 26 / Trend T.Konyayeva /
Lack of reliable information about Iran's nuclear program makes it impossible to verify the absence or presence of its progress, Professor of Anthropology at McGill University, Philip Carl Salzman, said.
"The Iranian program is as secret as the Iranians can keep it," Salzman, scientific researcher of the Fund for Democracy Protection, wrote in an e-mail to Trend. "It is difficult to judge whether the program is accelerating or decelerating. Our lack of direct knowledge of the program makes an evaluation of its progress dubious at best".
The UN Working Group on Iran, consisting of eight people, issued a report stating that sanctions influenced the nuclear program's rate of development and the military progress of the Islamic Republic, BBC reported on June 19. The BBC mentioned that information was obtained through an information leak to the press.
Earlier on June 16, Iran's representative to the IAEA, Ali Askar Soltaniyeh, said that Iran continues to expand uranium enrichment despite UN sanctions.
Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereidoun Abbasi stated on June 8 that Iran is going to install 164-centrifuge cascades of new generation machines soon. He added the centrifuges would be installed both in Fordo and Natanz nuclear facilities.
Abbasi also added, "we intend to produce 20-percent enriched fuel in Fordo nuclear facilities under the IAEA supervision and we will raise its production as three times."
He said Iran will start production of fuel rods by April 2012.
In November 2009, Iran announced that it plans to build ten factories to enrich uranium on its territory.
Salzman said what the U.N. wants the international community to believe is that the sanctions are effective, and the Iranian program has slowed."There are numerous examples of the violation of sanctions, so their efficiency is in doubt," he said.
The UN Security Council resolution 1929 was adopted in the summer of 2010, as well as additional unilateral sanctions were approved by the U.S. Congress and the FMs of all EU countries, which are mainly directed against the banking, financial and energy sectors of Iran.
The restrictions imposed by the EU include the ban on the sale of equipment, technologies and services in Iran's energy sector. The oil processing industry is among these measures.
In addition, the "black list" included the companies controlled by the national shipping lines of the Islamic Republic, and 15 other companies belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
"It appears to me what is at work here is "wishful thinking": "We hope the sanctions are effective. We hope the Iranian nuclear program is not progressing rapidly," said Salzman.
"Why the wishful thinking? Because no one in the West wants to take any further action, certainly not military action, against Iran, said the expert. And no one wants the Israelis to attack Iran, which would retaliate in the Persian Gulf".
According to him, the West and the U.N. prefer to imagine that the Iranians are being inhibited at little or no cost to ourselves.
"Once the Iranians have a bomb (next week, in six months, in a year or two), the West will say, "oh well, it is too late to stop Iran getting the bomb; but we'll 'contain' Iran somehow, just like we did with the Soviets," Salzman said.
Iranian nuclear program has caused concern since 2003, when the IAEA became aware of its concealed activity. In late 2003, Iran signed the Additional Protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and voluntarily announced about the suspension of uranium enrichment. However, it returned to this activity. Iran insists that as a party to the NPT it has the full right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Enriched uranium can be used to produce nuclear weapons. However, it is necessary as fuel for nuclear power plants. Several states, including the U.S., believe Iran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons and want to prevent this development.