It will be difficult to prove military purpose of plant in Qum: expert

It will be difficult to prove military purpose of plant in Qum: expert

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 15 / Trend , T.Konyayeva/

It will be too difficult to prove that undeclared uranium enrichment plant in the Iranian city of Qum has a military purpose, believes Shannon N. Kile, Senior Researcher Project on Nuclear Arms Control and Non-proliferation at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIRPI).

"In order to determine whether the plant had a military purpose, it will be necessary to determine whether it had administrative connections with the Iranian Ministry of Defence," Kile wrote to Trend in an email from Stockholm. "This would require the inspectors to have access to original documentation and to key plant personnel in order to investigate issues going beyond verifying the design information. In my view it is unlikely that Iran would agree to allow this access."

Last Monday, The Boston Globe reported that by postponing inspection of the plant in Qum to Oct. 25, Iran gets time to remove all evidence that all ongoing work at a nuclear facility is linked to the military program.

"For this reason, the inspectors should have almost immediate access to the site," the article said.

Kile believes the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards inspectors will be unlikely to determine whether the previously undeclared enrichment plant at Qum had a military purpose based on an inspection of the physical facility and its equipment.

"This will be the focus of the IAEA's work when inspectors arrive at the Qum plant to carry out a Design Information Verification inspection of the plant," the expert added from Sweden.

IAEA inspectors on Oct. 25 will arrive at the new Iranian uranium enrichment plant to ensure its peace mission, the IAEA Director General, Mohamed ElBaradei said during his visit to Iran.

There are no factors which demonstrate the military purpose of the uranium enrichment plant in Qum, so there is no reason to eliminate any evidence of this plant, according to Iranian expert Saeed Yari.

"All the activities at the nuclear station was and will be peaceful and will be implemented under the supervision of IAEA monitors," the Expert on nuclear program and the Chief Secretary of the Organization on Iran's national interest protection, Yari told Trend over telephone from Tehran.

He believes that the lack of information about security at the plant compared with other nuclear sites in Iran causes a lot of rumors in the Western media (with respect to its military purposes).

Shortly before Iran's meeting with the "six" countries in Geneva, the IAEA has confirmed the receipt of notification from Iran about the construction of the second uranium enrichment plant in its territory without notifying international organizations. The agency has demanded Iran to provide specific information and provide access to the new plant, located near the city of Qum, as soon as possible.

Kile believes one of important issues is that it will be interesting to see whether IAEA inspectors turn up any evidence that Iran had introduced nuclear material into the enrichment plant.

"Iran denies that it did this," Kile said. "If the IAEA detects the presence of nuclear material (for example, enriched uranium particles) there, then Iran will find it even more difficult to argue that its failure to declare the existence of the  plant until very recently was not a clear violation of its safeguards agreement with the IAEA."

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