Negotiators Seen Downplaying Iran’s Atomic Past

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
June 25, 2014, 6:48 a.m.

Ir­an ap­par­ently faces little U.S. pres­sure to fully re­count its nuc­le­ar past amid a glob­al push to rein in its cur­rent ef­forts, the New York Times re­ports.

Obama in­siders said Ir­an would nev­er of­fer a look at many of its sens­it­ive fa­cil­it­ies in a pos­sible pack­age deal to as­sure oth­er coun­tries that it is not seek­ing a nuc­le­ar-arms ca­pa­city, the news­pa­per re­por­ted on Tues­day. Ne­go­ti­at­ors from Wash­ing­ton and five oth­er cap­it­als want to re­strict the na­tion’s bomb-us­able nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies un­der terms they hope to fi­nal­ize with Tehran by Ju­ly 20, when an in­ter­im ac­cord with the Per­sian Gulf power is sched­ule to ex­pire.

Still, no po­ten­tial agree­ment would re­veal Ir­an’s level of ex­pert­ise on mat­ters that could help it to as­semble a nuc­le­ar bomb if it de­cided to do so, ac­cord­ing to the Times. A lack of full trans­par­ency would leave U.S. in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials with the task of en­sur­ing that Ir­an does not secretly pur­sue nuc­le­ar arms, des­pite their mixed his­tor­ic­al suc­cess in con­duct­ing such over­sight.

A top U.N. nuc­le­ar watch­dog of­fi­cial ad­ded that it is “not pos­sible to find out everything” about Ir­an’s past nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies, in­clud­ing pos­sible ele­ments geared to­ward weapons de­vel­op­ment.

“Some doc­u­ments have dis­ap­peared,” In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency Dir­ect­or-Gen­er­al Yukiya Amano told the news­pa­per last week. “Some people have already died. In some cases, Ir­an does not give us ac­cess.”

He ad­ded that his or­gan­iz­a­tion has “not yet made a spe­cif­ic re­quest” to in­ter­view Mohsen Fahkr­iz­a­deh, the pos­sible lead­er of nuc­le­ar-arms ef­forts in Ir­an. 

In Wash­ing­ton, law­makers on Tues­day aired wor­ries about “the enorm­ous chal­lenge of mon­it­or­ing and veri­fy­ing any po­ten­tial fi­nal agree­ment with Ir­an,” as House For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee Chair­man Ed Royce (R-Cal­if.) put it.

In a clas­si­fied meet­ing, pan­el mem­bers “noted that the onus is on Ir­an to prove that it has not en­gaged in a cov­ert weapons pro­gram,” Royce said in pre­pared com­ments.

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