What You Need to Know About Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani / AP

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani / AP

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As the deadline for the P5+1 nations and Iran to reach an agreement on Iran’s nuclear weapons program approaches next month, TheTower.org has provided a list of ten things that anybody evaluating a deal needs to know.

The concern is that although negotiators are working on a deal that “would supposedly stop their nuclear program,” in reality all it may do is “preserve Iran’s technology and hardware to make it entirely possible to build a bomb in the future,” explains TheTower.org.

Many of the “need to know” items focus on the issue of whether Iran is a nation that can be trusted in any agreement, noting that President Hassan Rouhani has previously boasted about “duping the West” and that it has backed out of previous deals:

Before his Election as President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani Boasted of Duping the West — Twice

Prior to his election as president of Iran last year, Hassan Rouhani answered a hostile interviewer — who claimed that Rouhani was too “moderate” — by boasting of secretly advancing the Iranian nuclear program while he served as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator from 2003 – 2005 [...]

In 2006, The Telegraph published a similar boast. Again, in reaction to charges that he had been too soft in the Iranian nuclear negotiations with the West, Rouhani claimed that he advanced Iran’s nuclear research when he claimed that no advances were being made. [...] After his election last year, The Guardian wrote, “On his watch, Iran agreed for the first time to stop enriching uranium.” Yes Iran agreed to stop enriching. But according Rouhani’s boasts, it never did.

Iran has Rejected or Withdrawn from a Number of Previous Agreements

In 2003, Iran agreed to “to cooperate with the IAEA, sign the Additional Protocol, and temporarily suspend conversion and enrichment activities.” But it “exploited ambiguities in the definition of ‘suspension’ to continue to produce centrifuge components and carry out small-scale conversion experiments.” In order to avoid a referral to the Security Council, Iran agreed to the Paris Agreement with Britain, France, and Germany in November 2004. This agreement included a suspension of enrichment activities. In August 2005, Iran restarted its enrichment program. In June 2006 the West offered Iran a deal (including light water reactors and a number of economic incentives) if it would stop enrichment and recommit to the Additional Protocol. Iran refused to stop enrichment and didn’t respond to the offer. In light of Iran’s continued defiance, the Security Council passed its first sanctions resolution (1696) at the end of July 2006.

TheTower.org also notes that much of Iran’s nuclear program remains in the dark, and that little information has been volunteered by the Iranian regime. It is likely, writes TheTower.org, that Iran has multiple secret nuclear sites and has also been conducting detonator research that it has not come clean about to inspectors.

You can read “10 Things You Need to Know About Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program” here.