IAEA’s Second JCPOA Report: Key Information Still Missing

May 31, 2016

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On May 27, 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its second report on Iran’s compliance with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2231 (2015). UNSCR 2231 codified into international law the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement reached between the P5+1 and Iran in July 2015 aimed at limiting Iran’s nuclear program.

Although Iran appears to be living up to most of its general commitments, the IAEA report continues to lack technical details about critical implementation issues. The following is a list of questions about missing information or data that the IAEA has routinely detailed in earlier reports, but that has been missing from both of the Post-Implementation Day reports.

It would greatly increase transparency of the JCPOA’s implementation if the IAEA released this missing information. Without this information, an independent determination of whether Iran is complying with the JCPOA is not possible. The lack of information also inevitably leads to questions about the adequacy of the IAEA’s JCPOA verification effort. The IAEA strategy, evident in the first two reports, appears to be that it is committed to only report violations in detail. However, this strategy is not credible and undermines confidence that the JCPOA is being verified. It also raises a fundamental question: if the IAEA is unwilling to provide routine and adequate transparency, can it be trusted to be transparent every time a violation occurs? It is in fact unclear if the IAEA has reported all the violations thus far. It also appears that the IAEA is not reporting information relevant to loopholes in the agreement that Iran is exploiting.

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