Nuclear Issue

  • 2021-10-13

    Has the nuclear deal with Iran already died an ignominious death? The difficulties in reviving it would suggest it truly has. Ever since President Biden stated it was a priority for his administration, it seems it has been anything but. Delays by both the U.S. and Iran have plagued the negotiations. Both have stated that time is running out. The dynamics have changed so dramatically that there may be no compelling reason for either the U.S. or Iran  to return now to the negotiating table. Has the nuclear deal with Iran already died an ignominious death? The difficulties in reviving it would suggest it truly has.

  • 2021-10-06

    The 2021 operational launch of two reactors at the Barakah power plant in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) demonstrates the growth of nuclear energy in the Middle East. Over the next two years, there will be five reactors operating in the Persian Gulf¬—four reactors at Barakah and Iran’s Bushehr reactor, which has been running since 2013. If Iran and Saudi Arabia fulfill their proposed plans to build new nuclear reactors, the number will rise to at least eight reactors in the gulf by 2030. There are many reasons for concern about the safety of nuclear facilities in the gulf. Particularly in the region where Bushehr is located, Iran is prone to seismic activity. The UAE has limited experience in operating nuclear facilities. And terrorist groups have identified energy infrastructure as a key target—and even attacked nuclear installations.

  • 2021-09-27

    The spokesperson for Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, Behrouz Kamalvandi, has responded to the International Atomic Energy Agency on limitations on access to parts of Iran’s nuclear program. Kamalvandi said that the IAEA's claim that access to a nuclear facility was restricted was “one-sided and biased” and “not productive” to the process described in a Sept. 12 joint statement issued by Iran and IAEA director Rafael Grossi.

  • 2021-09-22

    Iran’s activity this year must be viewed as practicing breakout to make enriched uranium for use in nuclear weapons. It is learning to make such material more quickly and developing valuable experience in doing so. Overall, Iran is able to breakout faster and more efficiently than it could prior to these accomplishments. In a return to the JCPOA, it is not sufficient to only arrange the removal or down-blending of uranium stocks with enrichment levels above 5 percent low-enriched uranium, the downsizing of Iran’s large 5 percent LEU stock, and storage and mothballing of advanced centrifuges. Other steps are necessary. Gained breakout experiences and advances in centrifuge operation and production complicate returning to the JCPOA, since those experiences and advances cannot be destroyed or removed. These gains have been made over multiple years and are not addressed by a simple return to the JCPOA. In essence, a revived JCPOA without compensation for the irreversible gains in nuclear capabilities in the areas discussed above would constitute a new, weaker deal. Without modifications, that deal would be unlikely to achieve a 12-month breakout timeline or maintain the types of delays in Iran’s nuclear advancements that the JCPOA promised originally. The achievement of the compensatory actions discussed above is recognized as difficult, but Iran’s recent nuclear gains call for a response beyond trying to reestablish a past that no longer solves the problems posed by the Iranian regime’s nuclear program today. If Iran is unwilling to institute necessary changes, the U.S. and European strategy should shift from seeking the restoration of the JCPOA to one striving the negotiation of a stronger, longer, and more comprehensive agreement. The current pause in negotiations offers a welcome reprieve to reconsider a U.S. and European strategy, which so far must be judged in hindsight as a rush to a worse deal.

  • 2021-09-13

    During a press conference on Monday, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Rafael Grossi told reporters that the June attack on Iran’s nuclear research facility in Karaj had damaged some of the agency’s equipment. On June 23, Iranian media reported a “sabotage attack” against a nuclear facility in Karaj by a quadcopter drone, which they said only caused damage to the roof. There were no injuries to staff or other equipment due to already-tight security precautions. Karaj’s Center for Agricultural Research and Nuclear Medicine is a civilian facility operated by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), but unconfirmed reports spread by Israeli media suggested the attack had targeted a secret site for manufacturing centrifuges used to refine uranium. Tehran has blamed the attack on the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service, which has committed numerous other operations inside Iran, including the April 2021 cyberattack against the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility and the November 2020 assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, one of Iran’s seniormost nuclear scientists.

  • 2021-09-13

    A report issued on Monday by the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group that specializes in analyzing the findings of the United Nations agency, concludes that a race over the summer to enrich uranium at 60 percent purity — just below bomb grade — has put Iran in a position to produce the fuel for a single bomb in “as short as one month.” A second weapon’s worth of fuel, it says, could be produced in less than three months, and a third in less than five. But a lead author of the report, David Albright, cautioned on Friday that Iran’s actions signaled an effort by the new government of President Ebrahim Raisi to seek new terms, more favorable to Iran, in negotiations over restoring the 2015 deal that Mr. Trump rejected. There have been no formal negotiations since June, a month before Mr. Raisi, a conservative Iranian jurist, won the presidential election. American officials say they have been expecting that he will seek to start the negotiations anew, demanding far more sanctions relief for Iran.

  • 2021-09-13

    This report summarizes and assesses information in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) quarterly safeguards report for September 7, 2021, Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), including Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Overall, the IAEA’s latest report shows Iran’s rapidly advancing nuclear activities and steps to limit IAEA monitoring, while inspectors have a diminishing ability to detect Iranian diversion of assets to undeclared facilities. The IAEA is sounding an alarm to the international community accordingly.

  • 2021-08-24

    Today, Iran does not appear to have a program focused on the actual building of nuclear weapons. At best, its intentions remain unclear. But it does appear to have a program to be prepared to make nuclear weapons and to do so on short order. Rather than a crash nuclear weapons program, Iran threatens the world with a program ready to produce nuclear weapons “on-demand.” Today, Iran is closer to being able to build nuclear weapons than it was in 2003. A reinstated JCPOA, combined with less than vigorous IAEA verification of Iran’s military sites, of the type that existed from 2015 until 2018, appears particularly unstable and dangerous, likely leading to a worsening Middle East security situation, more violence against nuclear sites and personnel, and greater missile and nuclear proliferation.

  • 2021-05-26

    We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the sabotage in the Natanz nuclear enrichment plant in Iran on 11 April 2021, as a form of nuclear terror. This attack has been almost universally attributed to Israel, including by the Israeli media, and confirmed by US and Israeli intelligence officials. Such attacks carry a serious risk of high level radioactive leakage which could potentially endanger the lives of thousands of innocent human beings and irreparably contaminate the environment causing long-term genetic malformations and disease, with far-reaching destructive consequences into the future. It has been repeatedly verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran’s nuclear programme is peaceful and under a strict monitoring regime. Israel, in contrast, is the only nuclear weapons state in the Middle East as it is in possession of a large arsenal of nuclear weapons, which is the reason for the country’s  refusal to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The deafening silence of the self-proclaimed international community in response to Israel’s nuclear terror could set a deadly precedent for its repetition and escalate into an endless chain of retaliations and an arms race in the already war-ravaged Middle East.  Therefore, we call on the UN and the Security Council to responsibly and unreservedly condemn and hold Israel accountable for repeated dangerous and profoundly irresponsible attacks on civilian nuclear installations and the assassination of Iranian scientists.  In addition, we urge UN member states to embark, as a matter of urgency, on the long-delayed task of nuclear disarmament of Israel and placing its nuclear programme under the supervision and monitoring of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in line with the long-standing drive to creating a Nuclear-Free Middle East.

  • 2021-05-25

    The administration of US President Joe Biden has failed to return to the internationally backed nuclear deal with Iran four months into his administration. While indirect negotiations continue, Washington is attempting to take the upper hand via demands that make no sense considering the US violation of the deal under former President Trump. What could be reasonably expected to come out of the indirect talks in Vienna? Is the US ready to show some respect after violating the deal? Let us try to find out. The stakes are high as the US hesitates to return to the deal. The outcome of the talks will determine not just the future of the dynamics between Tehran and Washington but also the durability of security in the whole region. The US industrial-military-complex is rarely ready to give an inch when it comes to its financial and adventurous interests mostly under Israeli influence.