IAEA says Iran complied with nuclear road-map; no indications of bomb development after 2009

For full coverage of business developments in Iran and the Middle East, see MEED

The eagerly-awaited International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA’s) assessment of Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and associated nuclear road-map says the Islamic Republic has complied with the road-map’s schedule and there are “no credible indications” it was working on developing a nuclear weapon after 2009.

Analysts say the 16-page assessment, which is due to be submitted to the IAEA’s board of governors on 15 December, indicates Iran has demonstrated it has no capacity to develop a nuclear bomb. It should clear the way for the board to deem Iran to be in compliance with the JCPOA, an action that will automatically trigger the lifting of US, UN and EU sanctions, possibly before the end of the year.

“All the activities contained in the road-map were implemented in accordance with the agreed schedule,” the assessment says. “Iran provided explanations in writing and related documents on past and present outstanding issues, the Agency submitted questions on ambiguities relating to Iran’s explanations and technical-expert meetings were held. The Agency conducted safeguards activities at particular locations of interest to the Agency, including at the Parchin site, and a wrap-up meeting was held.”

The assessment says that that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003.

“The Agency also assesses that these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities,” the assessment says. “The Agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009. The Agency has found no credible indications of the diversion of nuclear material in connection with the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.”