(Digital Globe-ISIS photo of Qom facility and tunnel entrances; courtesy ISIS)
The Institute for Science and International Security has just posted the just released IAEA reports on both Iran and Syria.
The Iran report titled “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran” can be IAEA_Report_Iran_16November2009pdf_1.pdf”>read here as a pdf.
Pages 2-4 deal specifically with Qom and are interesting. Some clips worth highlighting are:
On the inspection of the site:
10. The DIV included a detailed visual examination of all areas of the plant, the taking of photographs of cascade piping and other process equipment, the taking of environmental samples and a detailed assessment of the design, configuration and capacity of the various plant components and systems. Iran provided access to all areas of the facility. The Agency confirmed that the plant corresponded with the design information provided by Iran and that the facility was at an advanced stage of construction, although no centrifuges had been introduced into the facility. Centrifuge mounting pads, header and sub-header pipes, water piping, electrical cables and cabinets had been put in place but were not yet connected; the passivation tanks, chemical traps, cold traps and cool boxes were also in place but had not been connected. In addition, a utilities building containing electricity transformers and water chillers had also been erected.
On Iran’s stated rationale for the Qom facility:
“As a result of the augmentation of the threats of military attacks against Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran decided to establish contingency centers for various organizations and activities …
“The Natanz Enrichment Plant was among the targets threatened with military attacks. Therefore, the Atomic Energy Organization requested the Passive Defence Organization to allocate one of those aforementioned centers for the purpose of [a] contingency enrichment plant, so that the enrichment activities shall not be suspended in the case of any military attack. In this respect, the Fordow site, being one of those constructed and prepared centers, [was] allocated to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) in the second half of 2007. The construction of the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant then started. The construction is still ongoing. Thus the plant is not yet ready for operation and it is planned to be operational in 2011.”
Iran states it has no other such facilities and IAEA states that Qom was a violation of agreement:
16. Iran stated that it did not have any other nuclear facilities that were currently under construction or in operation that had not yet been declared to the Agency. Iran also stated that any such future facilities would “be reported to the Agency according to Iran’s obligations to the Agency”. In a letter dated 6 November 2009, the Agency asked Iran to confirm that it had not taken a decision to construct, or to authorize construction of, any other nuclear facility which had not been declared to the Agency.
17. For reasons set out in previous reports to the Board of Governors, Iran remains bound by the revised Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangements General Part to which it had agreed in 2003,7 which requires that the Agency be provided with preliminary design information about a new nuclear facility as soon as the decision to construct or to authorize construction of the facility is taken. The revised Code 3.1 also requires that Iran provide the Agency with further design information as the design is developed early in the project definition, preliminary design, construction and commissioning phases.8 Even if, as stated by Iran, the decision to construct the new facility at the Fordow site was taken in the second half of 2007, Iran’s failure to notify the Agency of the new facility until September 2009 was inconsistent with its obligations under the Subsidiary Arrangements to its Safeguards Agreement.
Two important points made in the summary of the report focusing on lack of cooperation from Iran on other fronts are important to read:
35. Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities or its work on heavy water related projects as required by the Security Council.
36. Contrary to the request of the Board of Governors and the requirements of the Security Council, Iran has neither implemented the Additional Protocol nor cooperated with the Agency in connection with the remaining issues of concern, which need to be clarified to exclude the possibility of military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme. It is now well over a year since the Agency was last able to engage Iran in discussions about these outstanding issues. Unless Iran implements the Additional Protocol and, through substantive dialogue, clarifies the outstanding issues to the satisfaction of the Agency, the Agency will not be in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran.
And the dance with Iran continues. . .
– Steve Clemons