Iran Denies Polonium on Agenda for Talks With U.N. Agency

None

Global Security Newswire Staff
Feb. 6, 2014, 8:46 a.m.

Ir­an re­jec­ted claims that a Sat­urday meet­ing may spot­light its past work with a po­ten­tial in­gredi­ent for trig­ger­ing nuc­le­ar ex­plo­sions, Ir­an Daily Brief re­ports.

“We are not go­ing to dis­cuss any is­sues that have already been ex­amined and closed” with the U.N. nuc­le­ar watch­dog agency, Ir­a­ni­an Atom­ic En­ergy Or­gan­iz­a­tion spokes­man Behrouz Kamal­vandi said in Per­sian-lan­guage news re­ports quoted by the web­site on Thursday.

He was re­fer­ring to me­dia chat­ter about the In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency’s pos­sible re­newed in­terest in the na­tion’s pre­vi­ous re­search in­volving po­loni­um 210. The or­gan­iz­a­tion in 2008 said Ir­an had sat­is­fact­or­ily answered its ques­tions con­cern­ing the sub­stance, but IAEA Dir­ect­or Gen­er­al Yukiya Amano at a Mu­nich con­fer­ence last week­end said his or­gan­iz­a­tion wanted to “cla­ri­fy” re­lated mat­ters.

The un­usu­al ra­dio­act­ive ma­ter­i­al could be used to help det­on­ate nuc­le­ar blasts, but also has some ci­vil­ian ap­plic­a­tions.

At the same time, en­voys are guardedly hope­ful that Ir­an will agree in this week­end’s talks to be­gin al­low­ing some in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to wheth­er it car­ried out past activ­it­ies rel­ev­ant to the po­ten­tial weapon­iz­a­tion of its nuc­le­ar work, Re­u­ters re­por­ted on Thursday.

The Vi­enna-based nuc­le­ar agency might ini­tially lim­it its de­mands for Ir­an — which in­sists its nuc­le­ar pro­gram is strictly peace­ful — to per­mit scru­tiny of so-called “pos­sible mil­it­ary di­men­sions,” or “PMD,” of its atom­ic activ­it­ies.

One West­ern dip­lo­mat said IAEA ne­go­ti­at­ors “ab­so­lutely have to start with some PMD is­sues. Low-hanging fruit would be fine as long as it was real PMD.”

A fo­cus on less di­vis­ive pri­or­it­ies sug­gests the U.N. agency might hold off for the mo­ment on de­mand­ing ac­cess to a mil­it­ary base where Ir­an is sus­pec­ted to have car­ried out nuc­le­ar arms-rel­ev­ant re­search, ac­cord­ing to Re­u­ters. Oth­er points of con­cern in­clude an al­leg­a­tion that Ir­an car­ried out di­git­al mod­el­ing activ­it­ies tied to po­ten­tial nuc­le­ar tests.

The IAEA probe “is about be­ing thor­ough and trans­par­ent, not about be­ing fast,” said the West­ern en­voy, who Re­u­ters said was not af­fil­i­ated with any of the six gov­ern­ments ne­go­ti­at­ing with Ir­an on its dis­puted nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies.

What We're Following See More »
CYBER THREATS INCREASING
Clapper: ISIS Will Try to Attack U.S. This Year
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

“Leaders of the Islamic State are determined to strike targets in the United States this year,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told a congressional panel today. Clapper added that “al-Qaida, from which the Islamic State spun off, remains an enemy and the U.S. will continue to see cyber threats from China, Russia and North Korea, which also is ramping up its nuclear program.”

Source:
CLYBURN WEIGHING HIS OWN NOD
CBC PAC to Endorse Clinton This Morning
1 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

The Congressional Black Caucus PAC will formally endorse Hillary Clinton this morning, and “nearly a dozen CBC colleagues will descend on” South Carolina next week in advance of that state’s important primary. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), the highest ranking black member of Congress, reversed his earlier position of neutrality, saying he’ll make a decision “later in the week.”

Source:
×