MEK: Iran’s Nuclear Activities
The International Atomic Energy Agency released its most recent report on Iran’s nuclear operations, amid ongoing talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the 2015 deal between Iran and six western nations, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA.
Grossi expressed skepticism
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), reported that several days before that announcement, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi expressed skepticism on the deal’s capabilities, telling reporters that “it is not possible” to restore it in its original form now that “Iran has accumulated knowledge, has accumulated centrifuges, and has accumulated material.”
The Iranian regime’s repeated breaches of JCPOA
The Iranian regime’s repeated breaches of JCPOA clauses in the more than two years since the US reinstituted sanctions have aggravated the situation. The problem, however, stems from the deal itself, which has inadequate enforcement measures, ignores linked issues such as the Iranian regime’s ballistic missile program, and serves to reinforce Western conciliation and appeasement policies.
The decision by American and European policymakers to dismiss the problem of Iran’s unexplained early activities, leaving enormous gaps in knowledge about the regime’s nuclear program’s “past nuclear dimensions,” exemplified this conciliation. It wasn’t long after the JCPOA went into effect that the repercussions of this choice became clear.
Nuclear development at the Parchin military base
In 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) raised concerns about possible nuclear development at the Parchin military base and began lobbying for “complementary access” to the facility. However, because the nuclear deal did not impose any immediate obligations on the Iranian regime in this regard, authorities were able to keep nuclear inspectors away for months while sanitizing the site, concealing possible evidence of progress toward nuclear weapons potential, and relocating operations elsewhere.
Up to this point, European negotiators have been laser-focused on doing whatever it takes to re-establish Iran’s initial levels of JCPOA compliance. It’s unclear whether their vows will hold up in the face of Monday’s disclosures about how Iran has impeded monitoring throughout the process, particularly in the last three months.
Arak had never been shut down as required
The chief of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization told a state-run news outlet in January 2019 that the core of a heavy water plant in Arak had never been shut down as required by the JCPOA. Instead, concrete was poured into identical pipes and manipulated pictures of the core were sent to the IAEA.
In November of the same year, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the AEOI, remarked in another state media interview that the government had put in place “countermeasures” to prevent being “trapped” by long-term compliance with uranium enrichment limitations.
Enriching uranium to 60% fissile purity
The regime continues to expect the US to immediately lift all re-imposed and newly-imposed penalties before Iran takes any steps to reverse the progress it has made since 2019, which include enriching at least 2.4 kg of uranium to 60% fissile purity and producing a similar amount of uranium metal, a crucial element in the core of a nuclear weapon.
By ignoring unanswered questions about previous nuclear activity and permitting the regime to restrict inspectors’ access to the territory, Western leaders unknowingly constructed an arrangement that benefited the Iranian government and its clandestine nuclear program. Now that even the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency has stated that the agreement is no longer tenable, European negotiators must seriously consider reversing direction and forcing Iran to accept something broader and demanding in the Vienna talks.