Parchin: Will the IAEA Verify the Absence of Nuclear Weapons Activities in Iran?

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

June 20, 2016

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Will the IAEA gain access to military sites in Iran to verify Iran’s safeguards obligations and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s (JCPOA) ban on weaponization activities? Verifying this ban in particular will require Iran to offer much greater cooperation than it has so far been willing to offer. The IAEA’s most recent safeguards report contains little information on these important topics. In its next quarterly safeguards report, the IAEA should fully report whether Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA’s weaponization bans.

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), which codified into international law the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The report states that the IAEA conducted “complementary accesses under the Additional Protocol to sites and other locations in Iran.” It is not specific about which sites the inspectors visited and does not provide any other information pertaining to Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA ban on activities related to the design and development of a nuclear explosive device (see below). In particular, the report does not state whether inspectors visited the Parchin military complex, which is the location of a site linked to high explosive work prior to 2004 related to the development of nuclear weapons. The IAEA was unable to form a conclusion about such nuclear weapons related activities when it visited the site during the fall of 2015 as part of its investigation into Iran’s possible military nuclear activities.

Read the full report here.

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