Nuclear watchdog denies shelving new Iran report

After Israel calls on IAEA to make all information public, agency claims it did not prepare any document

Iran's Arak heavy water reactor (photo credit: Hamid Foroutan/ISNA/AFP)
Iran's Arak heavy water reactor (photo credit: Hamid Foroutan/ISNA/AFP)

The International Atomic Energy Agency denied Friday that it had prepared and shelved a report on Iran’s nuclear program last year in light of rapprochement between Tehran and the West.

Acting on a report Thursday that the IAEA had planned to issue new findings that potentially related to Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, Israel had called on the UN agency to release any information it had gathered.

“The IAEA has not prepared any report containing new information relating to possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program,” spokeswoman Gill Tudor said in an email to Reuters on Friday.

“The agency’s reports on Iran to its Board of Governors are factual and impartial. Their content is not influenced by political considerations,” she said.

According to sources cited by Reuters, the nuclear watchdog had decided not to write a new report, but one source said the agency’s findings could have added to Western concerns about Iran.

The task of the IAEA “is to expose to the international community any information regarding the military aspects of the Iranian Nuclear program and not to shelve it out of considerations pertaining to diplomatic sensitivity,” said Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz.

“I call on the IAEA to complete and publish the report as soon as possible, precisely because of the importance of the PMD (possible military dimension) issue for a final agreement with Iran,” he added.

Iran struck an interim nuclear deal with six world powers in November which Israel denounced as an “historic mistake” as it did not require Tehran to dismantle its uranium enrichment sites. The deal rolls back some sanction in exchange for a rollback of some nuclear activity. Iran and the six nations — Germany, the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — are conducting talks on reaching a final agreement.

The IAEA’s dossier in November 2011 contained a trove of intelligence indicating past activity in Iran which could be used for developing nuclear weapons, some of which it said might still be continuing. Iran rejected the allegations.

The dossier helped Western powers to step up the sanctions pressure on Iran, including a European Union oil embargo imposed in 2012.
The IAEA had no immediate comment on the Reuters report, the news agency said.

JTA contributed to this report.

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