WASHINGTON (AP) — Iran is broadly complying with agreements on curtailing its nuclear program, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported Thursday in its first update since last month’s deal between Tehran and world powers. It noted concern, however, with an Iranian military site where nuclear weapons work may have occurred more than a decade ago.
The U.N. agency said Iran’s current level of uranium enrichment, nuclear research and development and other activity is in line with its declarations. The 21-page report covers Iran’s nuclear program in the run-up to the landmark accord on July 14 and its first steps toward implementing that agreement. A copy of the document was obtained by The Associated Press.
The agency noted that it received information from Iran about allegations of past nuclear weapons work on Aug. 15.
But it offered reservations about the military base of Parchin. Western intelligence agencies say Iran used the site for explosives tests and other experiments related to the development of nuclear weapons. Iran argues the evidence is fraudulent; the IAEA is supposed to clear up the allegations by mid-December.
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The IAEA said it recently observed through satellite imagery the presence of vehicles, equipment and probable construction materials at the site. And it warned, “The activities that have taken place at this location since February 2012 are likely to have undermined the agency’s ability to conduct effective verification.”
Last week, the AP published the details of a previously undisclosed side deal between Iran and the IAEA for investigating Parchin.
It allows Tehran to take its own environmental samples from the site and provide videos and photos to the agency, “taking into account military concerns.” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano has said the arrangements are “technically sound” and consistent with long-established practices.
The U.N. probe runs parallel to the much bigger nuclear pact Iran reached with the U.S., Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. That deal will potentially provide Iran hundreds of billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions in exchange for 15 years of strict controls on its nuclear program.
Congress plans to vote on a resolution of disapproval of the deal, but Republican opponents don’t appear to have enough votes to block the accord.