By Yves-Michel Riols (Vienna, Special Envoy)
This is a document that is timely. The latest monthly report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released Wednesday 1 er July in Vienna, gives a good report on Iran at a time when negotiations on the Iranian nuclear , taking place in the Austrian capital entering their final phase.
In this context of intense diplomatic negotiations, the conclusions of the IAEA, the UN body responsible for ensuring non Nuclear -prolifération, were eagerly awaited, especially as the director of the Agency, the Japanese Yukiya Amano, was the surprise on Wednesday by announcing that he was going to Tehran for talks on Thursday with the authorities Iranian. A move that was immediately interpreted as a sign of appeasement between Iran and the IAEA, which will be responsible for ensuring the implementation of any agreement between Tehran and the countries of the “P5 + 1 “(United States, Russia, China, France, UK, Germany), whose experts are negotiating very hard, in Vienna, the contours of a final compromise
Iran: the countdown has begun
The latest report of the IAEA confirms that Iran holds the commitments made at the conclusion of the Interim Agreement of November 2013, which opened the way for negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program between Tehran and major powers, as talks have just been extended until July 7. “The Iranians are doing what they are committed to do, they completed the contract, the report is quite positive” , says a Western diplomat.
Questions about the possible military dimension program
In this document, which has not been made public but World was able to consult, the IAEA states that Iran’s stock of enriched uranium, an essential fuel the manufacture of an atomic bomb, dropped to 7,537 tonnes, slightly below the ceiling was agreed in 2013. However, there was recently been concerns because the stock of uranium hexafluoride, the form the greatest concern immediately usable for weapons-grade enrichment, had increased in recent months. According to experts, it was not a deliberate violation by the Iranians but of a technical problem related to a bottleneck at the conversion center, located near the city of Isfahan.
Another plus: no new element has been installed in the reactor of the heavy water plant at Arak that Westerners want to prevent neutralize produce plutonium for military purposes
If the. IAEA report removes a thorn from the negotiators in Vienna, he did not rule as long disputes between the Agency and Iran. Far from there. During his visit to Tehran, Yukiya Amano, who will hold talks with President Hassan Rouhani, will essentially raise the issue of “possible military dimension” (PDM) of the Iranian nuclear program. This is one of the most controversial points of the negotiations under way in Vienna. In November 2011, the IAEA has asked Iran to provide explanations on twelve points relating to PDM. This is to shed light on the militarization activities by Iran in early 2000. To date, Tehran has responded only partially to two points. A final agreement, says a close case, will allow access of the IAEA “individuals, sites and documents” regarding this possible military dimension.
Days to find a compromise
The IAEA demand, particularly, to be able to go to the military base at Parchin, which it has not had access since 2005. The West suspect the Iranians of having led experiments on “priming high explosives ” that allow, compressing a critical mass of highly enriched uranium or plutonium 239, triggering a nuclear explosion. They claim, too, the opportunity to consult the studies done by the team of famous engineer Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Mahabadi, considered the main architect of the Iranian nuclear program, the “neutron transport” , which allows optimize the chain reaction and thus nuclear explosion.
So many requests that have been denied by the Iranians, saying they are a violation of their sovereignty. During his talks in Tehran, Amano should discuss the sensitive issue of “controlled access” military bases to IAEA inspectors. It is also one of the major challenges of the ongoing negotiations in Vienna. “Confidence in the future must be built on trust what has been done in the past” summarizes a diplomat. There are only a few days to find a compromise.