Deep Concern Over Iran’s Nuclear Activities

On Monday 7th June, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, expressed deep concern that nuclear material has been present at the three undeclared locations in Iran and that:

“The current locations of this nuclear material are not known by the Agency.”

Recent talks in Vienna failed to reconcile activity in Iran with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action due to the lack of transparency on the part of Iranian authorities.

When the USA withdrew from that plan in 2018, Iran started violating various elements of it, primarily by enriching uranium at up to 60 percent, which is not far short of weapons grade.

And now Fox News has published evidence of unusual activity at the Sanjarian site which experts suspect is being used to make ‘shock wave generators’ that could enable the miniaturisation of a nuclear weapon.

Photographs show 18 vehicles at the site on 15th October 2020, then more work on 18th January 2021 with a new access road that was covered up two months later – more evidence that Iran continues attempts at concealing activities from the international community.

The Sanjarian site is said to be part of the nuclear weapons program that Iran claims ended in 2003. Israelis believe that work at the site continued in secret and included numerous experiments with shockwave generators.

As many as 136 tests are reported to have taken place during seven months in 2002 and 2003. The nuclear archive that Israeli spies brought out of Iran in 2018 is said to contain photos of the site around the time of those tests.

Yet Israel is not the only country in the Middle East opposed to revival of the 2015 plan. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are said to be resigned to its revival even though they have always opposed the plan; mostly because the Biden administration seems determined to renew it.

Consequently, they are reported to be engaging in dialogue with Tehran to prevent further escalation of regional tensions that are already high.

It is difficult to understate the importance of these developments. The Israelis are determined to deny Iran the ability to produce nuclear weapons, for nothing less than self-preservation.

If the international community cannot dissuade Iran from proceeding, larger scale conflict in the Middle East seems inevitable in the near future.

IAEA video on Board of Governors meeting