Iran leaders have, once again, placed their country on the IAEA agenda.
This week, the IAEA Board of Governors will be considering the Director General's report of May 23, 2007. The Director General's report documents two disturbing trends.
First, Iran's leaders continue to develop capabilities to enrich uranium and produce plutonium, in violation of three UN Security Council Resolutions. These capabilities are not necessary to benefit peacefully from nuclear technology, but are necessary to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons.
Second, Iran's leaders continue to withdraw cooperation from the IAEA, causing a troubling deterioration in the Agency's knowledge of Iran's nuclear activities. Most recently, Iran's leaders informed the IAEA that they will no longer provide early design information on new nuclear facilities. They also denied inspector access to verify design information at a facility of particular concern to the IAEA and UN Security Council.
Iran's refusal to provide early design information for new nuclear facilities and its denial of inspections at a key facility are cause for international concern for three reasons.First, they continue a trend of Iran increasingly withholding cooperation from the IAEA. Second, they raise further questions about the nature of Iran's activities and intentions of its leadership. Third, they constitute further violations of Iran's international obligations.
This week the IAEA Board will review these disturbing trends.
I expect Board members to express strong concern. They will likely:
- call on Iran to suspend enrichment-related activities;
- call on Iran to address outstanding questions about its nuclear program, and
- support Agency requests to reconsider the denial of design information and verification.