Vienna, Asharq Al-Awsat – Senior sources within the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] have informed Asharq Al-Awsat that IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano will release two new secret reports today on the latest developments in the Iranian and Syrian nuclear file to the IAEA Board of Governors. The Iranian and Syrian nuclear files are set to be top of the agenda at the forthcoming IAEA Board of Governors meeting that is scheduled to take place on 7 June.
The IAEA source also told Asharq Al-Awsat that IAEA Director-General Amano’s report would refrain from mentioning the most controversial issue at this time, which is Tehran’s proposal to swap low-enriched uranium in return for nuclear fuel that it requires to operate its Tehran medical research nuclear reactor. This proposal was first put forward by the IAEA last October, and at the time France, Russia, and the USA agreed to participate in such a deal, however Iran failed to respond to this proposal until recently, putting forward a modified version of this deal agreed with Turkey and Brazil to the IAEA. The IAEA is currently discussing this deal, and has forwarded the details of this to the three western parties.
The IAEA source said that the report will avoid mentioning this new Iranian proposal – despite its importance – as this is a separate issue and does not fall within the scope of the report. The source said that the report will focus instead upon recent developments with regards to Iran’s nuclear activities, and include the latest findings of the international inspectors who are working to monitor this activity, in addition to any new discoveries with regards to new Iranian nuclear activities that have not been disclosed to the IAEA since May 2009, when Amano submitted the last report to the IAEA Board of Governors.
It is expected that Amano’s report will signal that Iran has exceeded the acceptable level of uranium enrichment, after Tehran announced in February that it will increase its uranium enrichment to 20 percent, despite a UN Security Council resolution prohibiting this.
It is also expected that Amano’s Iran report will make reference to the recent reports made by international nuclear inspectors about missing Iranian nuclear equipment. The IAEA is continuing to investigate this missing equipment to discover the reason behind its absence and whether this is part of an Iranian attempt to cover-up illegal nuclear activity that it does not want the inspectors to be aware of, especially as this equipment is used in the enrichment process, or whether this equipment is merely absent as part of routine maintenance.
Diplomatic sources confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the issue represents a transgression, as the IAEA insists that Iran notifies it of any changes or [nuclear] activities that it is conducting, so long as the Iranian nuclear file is under investigation and so long as there is a lack of confidence in the conduct of the Iranian nuclear program.
In the same context, the IAEA Secretariat has issued a statement confirming that the Board of Governors meeting will discuss the Iranian and Syrian nuclear programs, and also Israeli nuclear capabilities.
Asharq Al-Awsat learnt that the Israeli nuclear file being placed upon the agenda of the IAEA Board of Governors meeting comes in response to sustained pressure by Arab member-states of the IAEA who have continued to call for Israeli nuclear capabilities to be subject to inspection and monitoring by the IAEA. This comes despite Israel’s continued refusal to comply with this request, for although Israel is a member-state of the IAEA, it is also the only country in the Middle East that is not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. All other countries in the region have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, including even Iran, which the Western countries accuse of seeking to obtain nuclear weapons, although Iran deny this and claim that its nuclear activity is for peaceful purposes only.
The Arab countries and Iran have led a successful diplomatic campaign which has resulted in the 189 signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty proposing to convene a conference in 2012 to discuss the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, which may require Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which first came into force in 1970.