Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

IAEA says Iran nuclear accord 'significant step'

The United States has accused Iran of only pretending to cooperate with the IAEA in order to avoid further UN sanctions.
by Staff Writers
Vienna (AFP) Aug 30, 2007
Iran's decision to answer key questions about its nuclear programme is "a significant step forward," the UN nuclear agency said Thursday, in a development expected to help Tehran avoid new sanctions.

The IAEA also said Iran's nuclear work was far below the industrial level vaunted by Tehran in April, according to a confidential IAEA report obtained by AFP.

Iran is continuing to defy two UN Security Council resolutions to cease enriching uranium, which can be used as nuclear reactor fuel or atom bomb material, but growth in enrichment work has slowed even though capacity has expanded, the report said.

It said Iran was still short of its planned 3,000 centrifuges for producing enriched uranium.

But the United States reiterated Thursday its insistence on Iran suspending uranium enrichment to win international confidence, and downplayed the IAEA claim of progress.

Washington is seeking a third round of sanctions at the Security Council but Russia wants to see how the new Iranian-IAEA cooperation plays out, diplomats said.

US ambassador Gregory Schulte told AFP the IAEA "would welcome resolution of troubling questions about Iran's nuclear activities but thus far for the most part Iran has only made promises."

The IAEA report included a timetable agreed on with Iran last week to clear up outstanding issues in the IAEA's over four-year-old investigation of US charges that Tehran is using a civilian programme to hide the development of nuclear weapons.

Iran on Thursday welcomed the report, which is to be presented at a meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors in September.

Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran's Atomic energy organisation, told the official IRNA news agency: "We thank the IAEA for its professional approach to this issue and we hope this path can continue to be pursued."

"What we have is what we think is an important step," IAEA deputy director general Ollie Heinonen, who negotiated the timetable, told reporters.

He said the goal was to get sufficient answers to the agency's questions about Iran's past hidden activities to close the matter by the end of the year.

The United States has accused Iran of only pretending to cooperate with the IAEA in order to avoid further UN sanctions.

Schulte said that since the IAEA's last report in May on Iran, the Islamic Republic "has increased by 50 percent the number of (centrifuge) cascades running with uranium hexafluoride (feedstock gas) in the once secret underground bunkers in Natanz" to enrich uranium.

But a senior UN official said Iran was producing only small amounts of enriched uranium and that the feeding rate into the centrifuge machines at the Natanz enrichment facility "has been smaller than what you expect when you look at the design of the facility."

The official also said that construction of the Arak heavy-water reactor which would make plutonium was "slower than what was in the original declarations, what they had stated in their design information statements and even before."

When asked whether political reasons or technical problems were behind the slow Iranian speed, the official said: "We don't have enough information to find out what is the reason."

The report said that "as of 19 August 2007, twelve 164-machine (centrifuge) cascades were operating simultaneously" in Natanz to enrich uranium, a total of 1,968 centrifuges.

A total of 656 more centrifuges were in development.

Iran has cleared up questions about its experiments with plutonium which is, like enriched uranium, potential atom bomb material, said the IAEA report.

And, for the "first time" Iran has agreed to review documents that the United States says show Iran carrying out secret military work on uranium processing, high-explosives testing and putting a nuclear warhead on a missile re-entry vehicle, Heinonen said.

A senior UN official, who asked not to be named, said: "If something pops up next Christmas, then that's a new issue" that the IAEA can ask about, parrying concern from diplomats that the IAEA has agreed to put a limit on the questions it can ask.

The IAEA also said "Iran would need to continue to build confidence about ... its present and future nuclear programme," including adopting an additional protocol on wider inspections.

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at
Learn about missile defense at
All about missiles at
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Analysis: Hitting Iran where it hurts
Washington (UPI) Aug 28, 2007
Amid continuing speculation of a pending U.S. attack on Iran's nuclear facilities or possible raids targeting Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, a group of activists is asking Washington to consider "terror-free investment" -- a non-violent tool -- as a means of pressuring Iran.

  • US Senator Lugar Speaks For Extending START-I Treaty
  • Analysis: Sino-Russia military ties
  • Japan courts India to counter China: analysts
  • US asks Austria to shed 'Cold War thinking' over missile defense

  • IAEA says Iran nuclear accord 'significant step'
  • Russian bombers not carrying nuclear weapons, air force says
  • Analysis: Hitting Iran where it hurts
  • Ahmadinejad Says Iranian Nuclear Dossier Closed, US Attack Unlikely And Bushehr To Be Completed

  • Bulava Missile Not Ready For Mass Production
  • US to look into North Korea's missile threat
  • Pakistan test fires new air-launched cruise missile
  • Russia Builds Highly Effective Pechora Surface-To-Air Missiles

  • BMD radar biz Part One
  • BMD Focus: Israel's BMD two-front war
  • Czech government seeks PR help for US radar
  • Russia Will Use Gabala Radar - Space Forces Representative

  • Brazil's TAM Airlines Orders 1,000th Boeing 777
  • Progress On The Hornet Capability Upgrade
  • Thompson Files: F-35 engine follies
  • China Southern intending to buy 55 Boeing 737 aircraft

  • Airmen Work To Keep Aircraft Cool
  • Unmanned US spy plane crashes near inter-Korean border
  • Russia unveils pilotless 'stealth' bomber
  • Predator Soars To Record Number Of Sorties

  • Engineers Make Life Easier For Iraqi Army Soldiers
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Surprised Friends And Foes
  • Military Matters: Waiting for Petraeus
  • Outside View: The real analogy for Iraq

  • Analysis: Rafael unveils armor
  • Amber Specimen Captures Ancient Chemical Battle
  • C-17S In Alaska Ramp Up To Go Operational
  • Guardian Commercial Airliner Anti-Missile System Achieves 6,000 Operational Hours Milestone

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement