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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Close Nuclear Probe or the Deal is Off, Iran Says

A general view of the Bushehr main nuclear reactor, 1,200 km (746 miles)
south of Tehran © Raheb Homavandi / Reuters
Iran has called on the IAEA and world leaders to close the investigation of the so-called “Possible Military Dimensions” of its nuclear program - the PMD file. Otherwise they will have to choose between the case and the nuclear deal.

“What closes the PMD case is the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors' resolution. And the P5+1 is a part of the Board of Governors. So we hope that they act upon their responsibility and close the case,” Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said, as cited by the Fars news agency.

Shamkhani added that closure of the PMD case is a necessary prerequisite for the full implementation of the nuclear deal between Iran and P5+1. The group includes the US, Russia, China, Britain and France, who are the permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany.

Under the July 14 accord, Tehran agreed to major curbs on its atomic program, particularly its enrichment of uranium to high purities. In return all nuclear-related sanctions imposed by the US, the EU and the UN are to be lifted.

Shamkhani says now the P5+1 group “must choose” between the nuclear deal and the PMD file, according to ISNA.

The file concerns allegations that at least until 2003 Iran conducted research into how to make a nuclear weapon. These claims have been vehemently rejected by Tehran, which says its nuclear program serves peaceful purposes only. These include energy production and cancer treatment, and therefore the Iranians argue the program is Iran’s natural right.

“Iran wants to be exonerated from the PMD case and it should become clear that the PMD cases have been false, and during the negotiations we pressure the opposite side and insist that the fate of this case should come within the framework of the agreement,” Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said on June 17, a month before the nuclear deal was concluded.

So, it's not clear from this report whether the PMD investigation was included in the nuclear deal or not. If it is, then this week will probably be the end of it. If it isn't, then it appears to be a power play by Iran to stop any further investigation into its military nuclear aspirations. The power they have is the fact that this is a legacy issue for President Obama.

But the obvious factors involved include the fact that Iranian officials lie incessantly, and, if they have nothing to hide, why are they pressing so hard to stop the investigation?


The final PMD report may reach the IAEA’s board of governors as early as Tuesday, according to AFP. If it closes the allegations, a day of the nuclear deal “implementation” is to be appointed, starting with which sanctions will be lifted.

Earlier this week, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said that while the UN watchdog has a “better understanding” of Iran’s past activities, the report will not be a “black-and-white assessment.”

“This is not an issue which can be answered ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ ” he said on Thursday.