Challenges in Nuclear Verification: The IAEA’s Role on the Iranian Nuclear Issue
Yukiya Amano, the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, spoke at the Brookings Institution to discuss the challenges in verifying Iran’s nuclear program. Amano indicated that under the statue, the IAEA’s role in nuclear verification is to, “Establish and administer safeguards designed to ensure that special fissionable and other materials, services, equipment, and facilities are not used in such a way as to further any military purpose.”
There are 2 tracks of negotiation on the Iran nuclear issue. The “IAEA and Iran” track, and the other, “P5+1 and Iran”, which the IAEA is also involved in. The P5+1 negotiations with Iran are continuing, contingent on the November 24 deadline.
Amano stressed that the clarification of issues relating to possible military dimensions is not an endless process. A comprehensive solution may be achieved within a reasonable timeline, but is highly dependent on Iran’s full cooperation to resolve all outstanding issues.
Initially, Iran had implemented the practical measures agreed with the IAEA under the Framework for Cooperation. However, progress on implementing the agreed measures has been limited since the summer of 2014. Iran still has not implemented the Additional Protocol, which provides confidence that a state is not engaged in undeclared nuclear activities inconsistent with its safeguards obligations.
Amano further stated that the IAEA cannot provide credible assurance that all material in Iran is in peaceful purposes, but is committed to working with Iran to restore international confidence in the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.
In a confidential report last Friday, the IAEA estimated a decrease in the size of Iran’s uranium stockpile by 525 kg, according to data seen by Reuters.
Next Tuesday November 18, Iran and P5+1 states – United States, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, and China – will meet in Vienna to try and finalize the negotiations regarding its nuclear program in return for the gradual reduction of heavy economic sanctions.