Yet the deal’s opponents continue to focus on how it could, possibly, one day, under certain circumstances, go wrong.
By Derek Davison
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is reporting that Iran has so far complied with its obligations under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which went into effect in January and limits Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons. The IAEA report, which is confidential but was apparently shown to the Reuters news agency, “did not point to any violations in Tehran’s observance of the deal”:
The IAEA report appears to contradict last week’s claims by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), led by former IAEA inspector David Albright that Iran had been granted several “exemptions” to its JCPOA obligations. Those exemptions allegedly allowed Iran to meet its obligations by the date of the deal’s implementation. Per Reuters:
Earlier this month, a U.S. think-tank said Iran had been secretly allowed to overstep certain thresholds in order to get the deal through on time, but a diplomat said no limits had been exceeded apart from one incident which the agency reported in February.
The Institute for Science and International Security think-tank, headed by a former IAEA inspector, said one of the secret concessions exempted unknown quantities of low-enriched uranium contained in liquid, solid and sludge wastes.
It also said Iran had been allowed to keep operating 19 radiation containment chambers more than set out in the deal. These so-called “hot cells” are used for handling radioactive material but can be “misused for secret, mostly small-scale plutonium separation efforts,” it said.
The diplomat in Vienna said any hot-cell activity that could be used to breach limits would be reported by the IAEA, which it had not done.
ISIS, which often—but dubiously—claims to be “objective” with respect to the JCPOA, did not appear to have commented on the new IAEA report at the time this piece was being written. It’s not clear how, or even if, the anti-JCPOA community will react to the IAEA’s apparently positive assessment of Iran’s behavior under the treaty.
The AP’s Vienna bureau chief, George Jahn, has weighed in with his own report on the IAEA’s findings. In Jahn’s interpretation, though the IAEA found Iran to be in compliance with the JCPOA, Tehran may nevertheless be perpetrating nefarious deeds even as we speak:
To reiterate, the IAEA...Read More