No recent efforts by Iran to acquire nuclear weapons: IAEA report

Published December 3rd, 2015 - 02:45 GMT

This Wednesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) presented its final report on its findings regarding the state of Iran's nuclear program to its Board of Governors. The report titled "Final Assessment on Past and Present Outstanding Issues regarding Iran's Nuclear Programme", concluded investigations from IAEA inspectors into Iran's nuclear program over a five-month period.

According to Reuters, which obtained the report, there were indications of efforts to develop nuclear weapons capabilities for years, but Iran's efforts had slowed and become less coordinated by 2003 and had been terminated by the end of 2009. The report, cited by Reuters, determined "these activities did not advance beyond the feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities." Furthermore, the report found that there was no credible evidence that Iran had been engaged recently in efforts to acquire an atomic weapon.

This July, world powers along with the Iranian government met in Tehran and agreed upon a deal in which Iran would restrict its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. The P5+1- the US, Russia, Britain, France, China, and Germany- and Iran also agreed upon allowing international nuclear inspectors access to Iran's nuclear power plants to investigate the state of the nuclear program and ascertain compliance to the conditions of the deal.

The Iranian government has stated that it would not commit to its side of the deal until the IAEA investigation is concluded, which most likely be in the near future. The Board of Governors of the IAEA are set to meet on December 15th to decide Iran's case, and US officials expect that they will close the case. It is anticipated that the US can start lifting sanctions as early as January, a position that has drawn criticism from some US politicians who believe that the Iranian government was not forthcoming with IAEA investigators.

While chief negotiators for Iran during the Tehran talks assert that the report is definitive proof of the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program, the IAEA report also had criticisms regarding the limited cooperation from Iranian officials during the investigation.

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