Last week the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna announced that the monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program is “no longer intact”.
IAEA head Rafael Grossi made it clear that this doesn’t mean that Iran has completely stonewalled inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog, but that the Islamic Republic makes it impossible to get the full picture of what exactly is happening with its nuclear program.
Iran refuses, for example, to give the IAEA access to a key nuclear plant in Karaj after the facility was targeted by a small drone in June this year.
“It hasn’t paralyzed what we are doing there, but the damage has been done, with a potential of us not being able to reconstruct the picture, the jigsaw puzzle, Grossi told the American news outlet NBC.
He added that “if and when the JCPOA (nuclear deal with Iran) is restarted, I know that for the JCPOA partners to go back to an agreement, they will have to know where they are putting their feet.”
Iran has blamed Israel for the Karaj attack and accused it of “terrorism”.
The Iranians claimed that the attack destroyed some IAEA surveillance cameras, but later the truth came out and it appeared that Iranian personnel at the Karaj facility had removed the damaged cameras and their memory cards. It remains unclear how many cameras the IAEA had at the facility in Karaj.
When Grossi was asked if the IAEA is still able to determine if Iran is close to break-out capacity, he answered in the affirmative and added that he still believes that the Iranians didn’t plan to cross the nuclear threshold, but nevertheless warned that a “North Korea scenario” was possible.
“I don’t have any impression or any information indicating that that is the case (an Iranian break-out),” he said despite the fact that Grossi’s organization recently announced that Iran already has 10 kilograms of highly enriched (60 percent) uranium and has produced uranium metal. Both materials have no civilian use and are needed to produce an atomic bomb within a short time span. READ MORE