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IAEA Report on Iran: Much Ado about Nothing?

by Nader Bagherzadeh (source: CASMII )
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

CASMII, 13 June 07- Unfair and unbalanced US media is on a mission to magnify Iranian nuclear dossier's flaws as much as possible, when an IAEA report is released, and completely ignore it when outstanding issues are resolved. The purpose of this article is to examine those issues closely to validate this point. The basis of comparison will be the last two reports [1,2], namely the ones released on 2/22/07 and 5/23/07 , hereafter referred to as Reports 1 and 2 respectively.

The focus of this analysis will be on Section D of these reports, titled Outstanding Issues, as described below:

  • Paragraph 15 of Report 1 (a summary): low enrichment uranium (LEU) and high enrichment uranium (HEU) particles were found at locations where Iran has made centrifuge parts, similar to the ones from the Libyan confiscated centrifuge parts. The country responsible for making those parts (i.e., Pakistan ) provided additional information for clarifying the presence of these particles. This information is helpful but does not fully explain the presence of these particles. Report 2 does not refer to this problem any more and apparently the matter has been resolved . But not even one major news organization has dared to discuss this issue.
  • Paragraphs 16 & 17 of Report 1 (a summary): uranium equipment contamination at the University of Tehran Physics Lab. This issue is still pending.
  • Paragraph 18 of Report 1 (repeated in Paragraph 9 of Report 2): status of a more advanced centrifuge machine called P2 which is not deployed at Natanz. Although this is an outstanding issue, the idea of working on R&D for more advanced machines is not in violation of Safeguards as long as it is not tested with uranium material.
  • Paragraph 19 of Report 1 (repeated in Paragraph 9 of Report 2 as well): documentation concerning uranium metal and its casting into hemispheres. This 15-page document has been under Agency seal, and has been studied by inspectors, but a copy was not provided to the Agency. I leave it to the reader to conclude why this is a frivolous concern.
  • Paragraphs 20 and 21 of Report 1 (a summary): this one is related to plutonium separation activity, a technique that is related to the aging (1960s) US supplied research nuclear reactor at the Tehran Nuclear Research Centre (TNRC) which is scheduled to be phased out and replaced by the Arak reactor (IR-40). In this report, it was mentioned that HEU was detected, for the first time, at the Karaj Waste facility. This information was blasted out of portion by US media as the source of diversion to nuclear weapons activity, since HEU is commonly used for nuclear bombs. Iran claimed that the HEU contamination was leaking reactor fuel from the TNRC. In Report 2 this concern was no longer an issue, since it was not mentioned anymore. But none of the major news organizations retracted their original stories of how Iran was producing HEU for possible nuclear weapons diversion.

In conclusion, majority of major US media are duty bound to tell the truth and inform the public based on facts and not talking points that is disseminated from their management in order to push a political agenda. It is a clear failure of democracy when media becomes a tool of policy makers and not an independent source of news. An ill-informed public will weaken the pillars of democracy and results in supporting policies that are not in the best interests of the country.



Dr Nader Bagherzadeh is a professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
and in Center for Pervasive Communications and Computing in the University of California at Irvine.

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