30 August 2012, 16:00

Will IAEA get stronger control over Iran’s nuclear program?

Will IAEA get stronger control over Iran’s nuclear program?
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The International Atom Energy Agency (IAEA) is to set up a special working group for strengthening control over the development of Iran’s nuclear program and observation of the agreements signed with Iran as part of the Nuclear weapons non-proliferation treaty. However experts believe that the final word will rest with Teheran.

The question whether Iran was developing nuclear weapon has been in focus of the global community’s attention for several years. Although the US and Israel insist that this was the case, no firm proof of this hypothesis has been found yet. Nevertheless the continuous anxiety which surrounds this issue makes the Western countries and their Eastern partners look for new ways to find out the truth. Usually it ends up with approval of new sanctions against Teheran. While this anxiety is an emotion the sanctions are real and affect the lives of the residents of Iran and other regional countries. 

Iran’s leadership repeatedly declared that its nuclear program served exclusively peaceful purposes. More than that, agreements were signed between the IAEA and Teheran under which the agency’s experts were given the right to inspect Iran’s nuclear facilities. The other thing is that the Iranian authorities are not always open for this kind of cooperation. Perhaps they hope to keep some secrets, which is understandable and logical for any sovereign state. That is why the activities of the new working group will first of all depend on the readiness and willingness of the Iranian authorities to cooperate with it, Pyotr Topychkanov, an expert at the Moscow Carnegie Center says:

"We don’t know what structure this working group will have, what authorities it will receive from the IAEA and how intensively Iran will cooperate with this group. If these issues are solved the group will receive a wide range of authorities, all the instruments for expertise and Iran will provide full access to all the facilities and components of its nuclear program. In this case the result will be positive but you cannot be sure about this."

However there are reasons for optimism too. The next round of talks between Teheran and the IAEA has just been held in Vienna. No reports about the results have been released yet but it is known that these talks concerned providing access to the agency’s experts to the base in Parchin and the Ford enrichment facility, where, according to mass media, Iranians had installed additional centrifuges for nuclear fuel production. We hear from academician Boris Myasoyedov:

"Unfortunately, it is not quite clear how Iran is working on its nuclear program. We assume that it is working on how to boost electricity production with the help of nuclear power plants which is the right of every independent state. But it is also possible that at the same time they are developing their nuclear weapon and our country as well as most of other countries is opposing it. It looks like Iran understands that at present it is almost impossible to create own nuclear weapons without violating international law." 

Even if Teheran really plans to create its own nuclear weapon it is hardly feasible. Creating nuclear weapons requires the most advanced technologies, the best scientists and newest materials and Iran has a shortage of all of these components.

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