Analysis of the IAEA’s Report on the PMD of Iran’s Nuclear Program

by David Albright, Andrea Stricker, and Serena Kelleher-Vergantini

December 8, 2015

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued on December 2, 2015 a long awaited report on its investigation into the possible military dimensions (PMD) to Iran’s nuclear program under the IAEA/Iran Roadmap to resolving these issues. The completion of the Roadmap process and issuing of this report is linked, in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), to Implementation Day. The JCPOA explicitly requires Iran to complete a set of agreed upon Roadmap steps with the IAEA prior to Adoption Day, which fell in mid-October 2015, and well before Implementation Day. The Roadmap stated that by mid-December the IAEA would issue a final assessment on these issues.

Overall, the report is evenhanded, albeit highly abbreviated in its assessments about Iran’s nuclear weapons activities. It draws conclusions in the limited areas it is able to do so. However, Iran did not provide the IAEA with anywhere near a full declaration about its past nuclear weapons related activities, and it did not provide the kind of transparency and cooperation required for the IAEA to conclude its investigation. The IAEA was unable to fully explain Iran’s nuclear weapons activities, including assessing with certainty that each activity and the program overall have ceased to exist. Most of its conclusions were based on incomplete information rather than a full Iranian declaration or cooperation.

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