Building a “culture of safety” in Iran around the operation of Bushehr

Discussion in 'Iran' started by Casper, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Casper

    Casper Member

    Sep 6, 2010
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    Clifford Kupchan, Valdai Club's expert shares his view on Iran's nuclear program

    Iran stays under four sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions, primarily for defying council demands to stop uranium enrichment but also because of a record of nuclear secrecy. While the IAEA continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at nuclear facilities and locations outside facilities declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement, Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation to enable the Agency to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran.

    Iran has failed to respond to allegations by the IAEA and member states about past and current efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. In its 25 February report, the Agency expresses strong concern about these programs and provides a long list of alleged Iranian efforts to build a bomb. Tehran has refused to constructively engage the Agency on these allegations.

    Russia, Iran's nuclear supplier, clearly shares the concerns held by the US and other members of the P5+1 about Iran’s lack of transparency on its nuclear program. Russia has been very active in pressing Iran to provide more information and resolve outstanding issues. Moscow has played a central role in efforts to forge confidence-building measures with Tehran, and Russia supported UN resolution 1929 in June of 2010 – the most recent sanctions measure. Russia has also used its relatively good access to Iranian leaders to send constructive measures on the need for more transparency.

    Bushehr is a reactor safety issue, not a nuclear proliferation issue. Russia and Iran have an agreement under which the spent fuel from Bushehr will be returned to Russia as quickly as possible – it will be very difficult to divert the fuel for military purposes. Consequently, the international community does not view Bushehr as a significant proliferation threat.

    Full version of his article was originally published on

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