Expert: New report by IAEA director general on Iran's nuclear program is warning
Azerbaijan, Baku, September 7 /Trend, D.Khatinoglu/
Despite containing critical statements about Iran's nuclear program, Iranian officials have put a positive spin on a new report by director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano.
The IAEA once again confirmed that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful, the press officer of the Iranian Foreign Ministry claimed at a press conference on Tuesday. This interpretation was also given by the Iranian representative to the IAEA.
However, Amano wrote in his report, which he presented on Monday, that "Iran has not sufficiently cooperated with IAEA inspectors, and we are not able to confirm the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program."
Amano also said that Iran continues to enrich uranium despite UN Security Council resolution.
University of Glasgow professor and Trend Expert Council member Rza Taghizadeh said that Amano's report contains no positive news for Iran and that it has the character of a warning.
The previous report by the IAEA head was issued in February 2010. That report assumed that the Iranian nuclear program has some connection with military activities.
The West accuses Iran of trying to create nuclear weapons. So far, the UN Security Council has adopted six resolutions to stop Iran's nuclear program and uranium enrichment. Four of these resolutions envisage economic sanctions against the country. Iran rejects the accusations of the West.
Taghizadeh told Trend by telephone from the UK that in his report, Amano revealed that Iran is refusing to cooperate with the IAEA.
"The report criticized Iran's ban on the entry of two IAEA inspectors. Iran is required to permit the IAEA to inspect plant for the production of heavy water in Arago," said Taghizadeh.
The head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi. said on Monday that Tehran has the right to deny entry to any IAEA inspectors, ISNA reported.
Iran has previously banned two inspectors, including the deputy head of the IAEA, Olli Heinonen, from entering the country. Tehran accused Heinonen of presenting prejudiced and malicious reports to the IAEA.
Taghizadeh also said that Iran has the right to prohibit any IAEA inspectors from entering the country, but the IAEA inspectors are professionals, and therefore, Iran should provide strong arguments for such a ban.
According to the expert, time is necessary for the new inspectors to become familiar with the Iranian nuclear program and the responsibilities assigned to the country. Such bans inhibit cooperation between Iran and the IAEA, Taghizadeh said. In addition to preparing their reports, the inspectors would be afraid of incurring the wrath of Iran, which would affect the context of reports.
Although Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the country has not yet signed the Additional Protocol with the IAEA. Under this protocol, inspectors can inspect any facility associated with nuclear power in the country without notice.
Iran has so far not allowed the inspection of the heavy water plant in Arago. The reason indicated is that, according to the NPT, the country is not obliged to do so.
According to Taghizadeh, Iran is not a member to the Additional Protocol, and may prohibit the IAEA inspection at the plant in Arago. But the plant produces heavy water from which platinum can be made. Platinum is used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Therefore, the IAEA insists on inspecting the plant and heavy water reserves.
According Taghizadeh, Iran's nuclear program has not made quantitative developments in the materials needed for nuclear technology but has succeeded in raising their quality. This is alarming to theIAEA.
"In 2009, Iran installed 9,000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment at Natanz plant. Since then, Iran has not increased the number of centrifuges. If last year there were 6,000 active centrifuges, this year their number totaled only 3,700," Taghizadeh said. He said that if Iran wants to produce fuel for peaceful purposes, it needs at least 60,000 active centrifuges. With 3,700 centrifuges, Iran can produce only atomic weapons.
The new report by Amano said that Iran made 23 kg of 20 percent enriched uranium gas by June and has 2,800 kg of low enriched uranium.
According to Taghizadeh, if 2,800 kg uranium is enriched, 2-3 nuclear warheads can be produced. However, using such a quantity of uranium at nuclear power plants is impossible.