Tags: Analysis: Iran Reportedly Has New Nuke Agency

Analysis: Iran Reportedly Has New Nuke Agency

Monday, 25 Jul 2011 12:07 PM


Allegation of a newly created Iranian nuclear weapons agency could prove destructive to negotiation efforts.

An Iranian opposition group on July 22 alleged that Tehran has created a new defense agency to consolidate and accelerate its nuclear weapons development, according to the Associated Press. The Mujahedin-e Khalk (MEK) told the AP that Iranian leaders created the Organization for Defense Research in March and will continue to rebuff efforts to allow nuclear inspectors access to sensitive enrichment sites.

This development, which has yet to be verified, may impact recent efforts spearheaded by Russia to bring the U.S. and Iran back to the negotiating table. During a July 13 meeting with Hillary Clinton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proposed a “phased” bargaining plan, which would offer Tehran small sanction reductions in exchange for greater transparency on its nuclear program and meeting international demands. Relations between Washington and Tehran have been especially tense over the last few months, particularly since early June when Iran announced plans to triple its production of high-grade uranium.

Analysis

As Russia and the West press Tehran for greater transparency, verification that a veiled Iranian nuclear defense organization has been created would be yet another significant blow to Iran’s credibility. During a speech last week, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad maintained that Iran has nothing to hide about its nuclear program and that it has fully complied with IAEA requests. Tehran has expressed willingness to consider Russia’s proposed step-by-step approach, but only if the U.S. and the West make the first concession. Washington firmly believes the onus is on Tehran and the MEK’s allegation will likely act as a bulwark to that position and prolong the stalemate.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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Analysis: Iran Reportedly Has New Nuke Agency
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2011-07-25
Monday, 25 Jul 2011 12:07 PM
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