Expert: New report by IAEA director general on Iran's nuclear program is warning

Expert: New report by IAEA director general on Iran's nuclear program is warning

Azerbaijan, Baku, September 7 /Trend, D.Khatinoglu/

The attitude of the Iranian officials towards a new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano was definitely positive.

The IAEA once again confirmed that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful, the press officer of the Iranian Foreign Ministry Ramin Mehmanperest said to a press conference on Sept 7. Such opinion was also expressed by the Iranian representative to the IAEA, Ali Asker Sultaniye.

"Iran has not sufficiently cooperated with IAEA inspectors, and we are not able to confirm the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program," Amano said in the report, which he presented on Monday. Iranian officials have expressed their positive opinion on the backdrop of this statement by Amano. Amano also said that Iran continues to enrich uranium despite UN Security Council resolution.

Professor at the University of Glasgow, a member of the Trend Expert Council Rza Taghizadeh said that Amano's report contains no positive moment for Iran, just against, the report take a warning character.

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 some points indicating that Iran refuses to cooperate with the IAEA. "The report criticized Iran's ban on entry of two IAEA inspectors. Iran is required to permit 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 Sept. 6 that Tehran has the right to deny entry of any IAEA inspectors, ISNA reported.

Iran has previously banned two inspectors, including the deputy head of the IAEA Olli Heinonen, to enter the country. Official Tehran accused Heinonen of presenting to IAEA prejudiced and malicious reports.

Taghizadeh also said that Iran has the right to prohibit any IAEA inspectors to enter 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 get familiarized with the Iranian nuclear program and the responsibilities assigned on the country. And it will inhibit cooperation between Iran and the IAEA. In addition, preparing their reports, the inspectors would be afraid of incurring the wrath of Iran, which would affect the context of reports.

Despite that Iran is a member to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (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 inspection of the heavy water plant in Arago. The reason is indicated 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 development, it has succeeded only in raising quality. And it is alarming IAEA. "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, but this year their number totaled only 3,700," said Taghizadeh. He said that if Iran wants to produce fuel for peaceful purposes, it needs at least 60,000 active centrifuges. With 3700 centrifuges, Iran can produce only atomic weapons.

The new report by Amano said that Iran made 23 kg 20 percent enriched uranium gas by June and has 2,800 kg 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.

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