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IAEA Report Marks another Step towards Implementing the Iran Deal

IAEA Report Marks another Step towards Implementing the Iran Deal

The IAEA Board Meeting, December 15, 2015.

According to a report adopted by the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Tuesday, Iran had been working on developing a nuclear weapon up until at least six years ago. The report marks the conclusion of the IAEA’s investigation into the possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Iran’s nuclear program. It is clear, based on the information the IAEA has received from both Iran and third party countries, and analyzed over the years, that there was a coordinated effort to develop components necessary for a nuclear weapon from the 1980s until 2003 that became more focused as time went on. From 2003 to 2009, Iran continued some of these pursuits, but in a less centralized fashion.

While these findings are not so different from those released by both the IAEA and the United States on Iran’s nuclear program in the past, this latest report has made news because of its connection to the Iran Nuclear Deal announced this summer and adopted in October. Full implementation of the deal relied in part on the IAEA officially ending its investigation into the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program. Now that the IAEA’s board has adopted this report, they consider the questions about Iran’s past nuclear ambitions to be fully answered, though they retain the ability to investigate future concerns.

Secretary of State John Kerry applauded the vote, saying that it will allow the IAEA to move forward in monitoring the nuclear deal as it is implemented. Israeli officials from the Foreign Ministry and the Energy Ministry, on the other hand, were displeased with the IAEA’s adoption of the report. They argue that continued discrepancies and Iran’s refusal to admit to pursuing a nuclear weapon should have kept the board from closing the investigation.

With another deadline passed, U.S. officials are saying that the deal is likely to be fully implemented in January or February, once the IAEA certifies that Iran has removed much of its uranium, deactivated many of its centrifuges and disabled its plutonium reactor.

As the Reform Movement made clear in our response to the deal in August, we will continue to watch all parties move towards implementing the deal and ensure that the international community vigorously enforces it. We will also work to make sure that Israel continues to have the support and resources necessary to defend itself as the deal’s implementation changes the situation on the ground.

Read more about our work on Israel and Iran by visiting the RAC’s issue pages.

Jacob Kraus is the campaign organizer at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, leading the Reform Movement’s Urgency of Now campaigns for criminal justice reform and immigrant justice. Based at the Union for Reform Judaism offices in New York City, Jacob grew up in Cincinnati, OH, where his family is affiliated with Rockdale Temple. He is a 2015 graduate of Macalester College.

Jacob Kraus

Published: 12/16/2015