Nuclear Meltdown

U.N. Report: “Serious concerns” about Iran nuke program

• February 24, 2012 2:47 pm


Concerns about Iran’s purportedly peaceful nuclear program reached an all-time high Friday, when the United Nations censured the regime for refusing to grant inspectors access to several clandestine sites that are suspected of housing a nuclear weapons program.

In its latest update on Iran, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concluded that "Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities" as it has been ordered to do under international law.

"The Agency continues to have serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program," the report said, noting that earlier this month, Iran refused to give inspectors access to multiple research sites that are suspected of housing a nuclear military program.

"Iran did not provide access to Parchin, as requested by the Agency during its two recent visits to Tehran, and no agreement was reached with Iran on a structured approach to resolving all outstanding issues in connection with Iran’s nuclear program," the report states.

The report—which was issued to the IAEA’s 35-nation board, as well as to the U.N. Security Council—found that Iran is enriching uranium to levels far higher than those needed to operate a civilian nuclear program.

"Iran continues to carry out uranium enrichment," the report states, confirming the agency’s past suspicions. "The Agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities."

The report also noted that Iran refused to answer questions regarding the whereabouts of a quantity of missing uranium. Some suspect that the material is being used to run tests on a nuclear-armed missile.

Last November, the IAEA concluded that Iran is producing large amounts of uranium enriched to nearly 20 percent. This brings the regime much closer to possessing weapons-grade material and far exceeds the levels required by their current civilian nuclear program.

"Once they’re sitting on a stockpile of 20 percent [enriched uranium], they’re extremely close to the ability to quickly enrich that to weapons grade," Stephen Rademaker, a former assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation, told the WFB last month.