IAEA Report on Qom Facility Out


(Digital Globe-ISIS photo of Qom facility and tunnel entrances; courtesy ISIS)
The Institute for Science and International Security has just posted the just released IAEA reports on both Iran and Syria.
The Iran report titled “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran” can be IAEA_Report_Iran_16November2009pdf_1.pdf”>read here as a pdf.
Pages 2-4 deal specifically with Qom and are interesting. Some clips worth highlighting are:
On the inspection of the site:

10. The DIV included a detailed visual examination of all areas of the plant, the taking of photographs of cascade piping and other process equipment, the taking of environmental samples and a detailed assessment of the design, configuration and capacity of the various plant components and systems. Iran provided access to all areas of the facility. The Agency confirmed that the plant corresponded with the design information provided by Iran and that the facility was at an advanced stage of construction, although no centrifuges had been introduced into the facility. Centrifuge mounting pads, header and sub-header pipes, water piping, electrical cables and cabinets had been put in place but were not yet connected; the passivation tanks, chemical traps, cold traps and cool boxes were also in place but had not been connected. In addition, a utilities building containing electricity transformers and water chillers had also been erected.

On Iran’s stated rationale for the Qom facility:

“As a result of the augmentation of the threats of military attacks against Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran decided to establish contingency centers for various organizations and activities …
“The Natanz Enrichment Plant was among the targets threatened with military attacks. Therefore, the Atomic Energy Organization requested the Passive Defence Organization to allocate one of those aforementioned centers for the purpose of [a] contingency enrichment plant, so that the enrichment activities shall not be suspended in the case of any military attack. In this respect, the Fordow site, being one of those constructed and prepared centers, [was] allocated to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) in the second half of 2007. The construction of the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant then started. The construction is still ongoing. Thus the plant is not yet ready for operation and it is planned to be operational in 2011.”

Iran states it has no other such facilities and IAEA states that Qom was a violation of agreement:

16. Iran stated that it did not have any other nuclear facilities that were currently under construction or in operation that had not yet been declared to the Agency. Iran also stated that any such future facilities would “be reported to the Agency according to Iran’s obligations to the Agency”. In a letter dated 6 November 2009, the Agency asked Iran to confirm that it had not taken a decision to construct, or to authorize construction of, any other nuclear facility which had not been declared to the Agency.
17. For reasons set out in previous reports to the Board of Governors, Iran remains bound by the revised Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangements General Part to which it had agreed in 2003,7 which requires that the Agency be provided with preliminary design information about a new nuclear facility as soon as the decision to construct or to authorize construction of the facility is taken. The revised Code 3.1 also requires that Iran provide the Agency with further design information as the design is developed early in the project definition, preliminary design, construction and commissioning phases.8 Even if, as stated by Iran, the decision to construct the new facility at the Fordow site was taken in the second half of 2007, Iran’s failure to notify the Agency of the new facility until September 2009 was inconsistent with its obligations under the Subsidiary Arrangements to its Safeguards Agreement.

Two important points made in the summary of the report focusing on lack of cooperation from Iran on other fronts are important to read:

35. Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities or its work on heavy water related projects as required by the Security Council.
36. Contrary to the request of the Board of Governors and the requirements of the Security Council, Iran has neither implemented the Additional Protocol nor cooperated with the Agency in connection with the remaining issues of concern, which need to be clarified to exclude the possibility of military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme. It is now well over a year since the Agency was last able to engage Iran in discussions about these outstanding issues. Unless Iran implements the Additional Protocol and, through substantive dialogue, clarifies the outstanding issues to the satisfaction of the Agency, the Agency will not be in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran.

And the dance with Iran continues. . .
— Steve Clemons


11 comments on “IAEA Report on Qom Facility Out

  1. rich says:

    I’d prefer to have the report publicly available and vetted by multiple & non-interested experts in the cold light of day. If the data’s there, there should be no problem letting our current Ritter, Greg Thielmann and Houghton Woods assess the evidence and render their verdict.
    I don’t speak out of cynicism. Nor from bitter experiece. It’s simply that the last news narrative out of the IAEA’s inspection is very different from the thrust of the story coming out of ISIS. See the article below. Until we have actual data in hand and in the public eye, it would be a first order error to take headline news, or unverified leaks at face value.
    Not sayin’ what the facts are, nor that ISIS is wrong. Just sayin’.
    IAEA Found Nothing Serious At Iran Site: ElBaradei
    Published: November 5, 2009
    (quoting)ElBaradei was quoted in a New York Times interview as saying his inspectors’ initial findings at the fortified site beneath a desert mountain near the Shi’ite holy city of Qom were “nothing to be worried about.”
    “The idea was to use it as a bunker under the mountain to protect things,” ElBaradei, alluding to Tehran’s references to the site as a fallback for its nuclear program in case its larger Natanz enrichment plant were bombed by a foe like Israel.
    “It’s a hole in a mountain,” he said.
    Details are expected to be included in the next IAEA report on Iran’s disputed nuclear activity due in mid-November.(/quote)
    ElBaradei could easily’ve been simply buying time two weeks ago; on the other hand there’s no more merit or value in having an operation to force Iran to knuckle under run by Obama, than to have it run by Bush. The mistake is in the conception and in our the ends, even if the method is more skilled and the covering rhetoric more finesse.
    And with an ongoing dependence on unreleased [or classified] documents clear and on leaked conclusions both clearly in play, the next thing we’re liable to see is Gordon Brown excitedly waving a thin manila folder on the evening news and insistently calling it a ‘dossier’ full of damning evidence. But not saying what that evidence is.
    Even if the ISIS leakage reflects the true weight of IAEA’s report, it’s the actual objective and overall project that’s lead us astray and made us less secure.


  2. Steven Clemons says:

    Dirk — the ISIS site is fully dependable. The report is leaked to
    them, and they leak out to others. That’s the way IAEA reports go.
    I disagree with Iran’s interpretation of its own disclosure
    obligations and concur with El Baradei on that front. all best,
    Steve Clemons


  3. Dirk says:

    According to the IAEA Website:
    “Circulation of the reports is restricted; they cannot be released to the public unless the IAEA Board decides otherwise.”
    So I would be a little wary of a site (http://www.isis-online.org/) that purports to have a valid copy of a restricted report that it is making publicly available.
    Further, Iran has stated that it did not implement the additional protocol which would obligate it to report new facilities at their design conception rather than at 18 months prior to being brought on line, so the new facility is not in any sort of violation.
    But I guess the dance continues…just don’t kick those goose stepping legs too high.


  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Now theres a laugh.
    Nadine, pontificating on treaties.


  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Maybe Israel could just give Iran half of its nuclear arsenal, complete with missile delivery systems.
    Voila, instant mutually assured destruction.
    Problem solved.


  6. ... says:

    nadine, yes it’s something israel refuses to be part of in their extreme desire to remain off the ””’radar””… it doesn’t work with those who are paying attention….


  7. Outraged American says:

    Dance with Iran? Israel has nuclear weapons according to her
    former PM Ehud Olmert & delivery systems AND not only
    threatens her neighbors but attacks them on a regular basis.
    This is such a load of bull. Iranians have proven themselves over
    and over to be willing to negotiate.
    Ehud Olmert (I don’t know how many times I have to post it
    before my fingers fall off from reposting the FACT THAT THE
    December 12, 2006
    Olmert’s nuclear slip-up sparks outrage in Israel
    Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, faced calls for his
    resignation today after admitting – in an apparent slip of the
    tongue – that Israel has got nuclear weapons.
    But Israeli officials tried to push the cat back into the bag,
    denying that Mr Olmert had made any such admission and
    falling back on the Jewish state’s policy of “nuclear ambiguity”.
    Widely considered the Middle East’s sole nuclear power, Israel
    has for decades refused to confirm or deny whether it possesses
    the atomic bomb. Mr Olmert appeared to break that taboo in an
    interview with a German television station as he began a visit to


  8. nadine says:

    …, ever heard of the NPT treaty?


  9. James H. Burnette says:

    Clearly, aluminum centrifuge tubes and African yellow cake. Invite Condy and Colin to the mushroom cloud party.


  10. JohnH says:

    Sad that all options are NOT on the table…
    “‘We’ve always said that every option is on the table,’ Clinton repeated last week. Yet the viable option of abiding by the NPT’s norms and respecting Iran’s nuclear right to a peaceful enrichment program under the surveillance and safety standards of the IAEA is still missing from the US’s assortment of options.
    Once the US reconciles itself to this option, which would leave Iran at the threshold of potential but not realized nuclear weapons capability, then all sorts of doors for diplomacy and even rapprochement between the US and Iran would open almost overnight.”
    And suggestions that the US is insisting on presenting a deal that it knows Iran can only refuse: “despite unmistakable signals from Tehran that contradicted Obama’s announcement, Washington continues to insist that Iran has revised itself and turned down an agreement to which it initially agreed…
    At this point, the US and its allies will need to show greater flexibility and agree to amend the draft agreement. For instance, they could opt for a phased delivery of a much lower amount of Iran’s LEU under firm guarantees of timely delivery back to Iran.” Instead, the US insists the Iran simply surrender any uranium it enriched.
    This is simply the path to continued confrontation, not settlement.


  11. ... says:

    does this same sleuthing get done on israel?? do they just get a ‘get past go for free’ card? how are things in the hypocrisy biz anyway???
    inquiring minds want to know!


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