Sometime next week the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will discuss the latest report on Iran’s nuclear programme.
The report breaks a number of taboos raised by Blix and ElBaradei. It uses forbidden words and phrases such as missiles, payload, and military purposes. The report sets the whole issue in a new framework by making four crucial points:
1. Iran has never fully cooperated with the IAEA inspectors, and its level of cooperation in recent months has declined further.
2. Iran may have had a secret parallel nuclear program for some time.
3. There is concern about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.
4. Iran is in violation of its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and five Security Council resolutions.
Iran’s nuclear journey started in 1956 with the setting up of a project under President Dwight Eisenhower’s Atom for Peace. The first batch of Iranian students studying nuclear physics was dispatched to the United States in 1958. In 1967 the first atomic reactor, a gift from the US, started work in Amirabad, then a suburb of Tehran but now absorbed into the city itself.
By 1970, Iran had set up a full Atomic Energy Commission ostensibly to supervise the building of 20 nuclear power stations in a decade but with the obvious goal of mastering the entire nuclear techn… >>>