IAEA: Iran Increased Production Capacity At Nuclear Site

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"IAEA: Iran Increased Production Capacity At Nuclear Site"

The International Atomic Energy Agency released a report on Iran’s nuclear activities today which finds that the Islamic Republic doubled its capacity to produce enriched uranium at the Fordo nuclear facility buried deep underground. However, less than half of those centrifuges are in operation.

The IAEA also said that Iranian authorities continue a pattern of non-cooperation on its nuclear program and thus, the report states, “the Agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”

The IAEA also expressed concern about Iran’s Parchin site, reporting that after the IAEA notified Iran that it suspected nuclear weapons related activity there, satellite imagery showed “extensive activities”:

Satellite imagery available to the Agency for the period from February 2005 to January 2012 shows virtually no activity at or near the building housing the [large explosives containment vessel in which to conduct hydrodynamic experiments]. However, since the Agency’s first request for access to this location, satellite imagery shows that extensive activities and resultant changes have taken place at this location. […]

In light of these extensive activities, the Agency’s ability to verify the information on which its concerns are based has been adversely affected and, when the Agency gains access to the location, its ability to conduct effective verification will have been significantly hampered.

The Institute for Science and International Security has said that it suspects the Iranians have been engaged in an extensive clean up operation at Parchin.

The U.N. announced yesterday a special Task Force to investigate Iran’s nuclear program.

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Tom Collina and Daryl Kimball at the Arms Control Association have more details on the report and note that “Iran has not significantly increased its rate of enrichment” at Fordo and that “Iran’s available stockpile of 20% enriched uranium (91 kg) is essentially unchanged from May.”

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“While the report reveals some troubling developments, it is not a ‘game-changer,'” the National Security Network writes. “Time and space remain to pursue diplomacy, which security experts believe is still the best path for U.S. and Israeli security.”

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