Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 08, 2011

The New IAEA Report On Iran

The new IAEA report has been released at the David Albright's ISIS site: GOV/2011/65 - Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran - 8 November 2011 (pdf). The report is not yet available at the IAEA site. Why not if Albright already has it? Why does he have it btw?

While reading it I will keep in mind this Wikileaks cable:

Amano reminded Ambassador on several occasions that he would need to make concessions to the G-77, which correctly required him to be fair-minded and independent, but that he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program.

As I read it I will update this post with my thoughts on it below the fold.

Iran seems to have made some small progress in installing/operating centrifuge cascades in Natanz and its other sides. There is nothing abnormal in the report or in the operations Iran is doing there. There is, according to the IAEA report, just some progress but not fast progress.

Now we come to part G. Possible Military Dimensions and Amano*s (the U.S.') argument for releasing the, so far, rumor stuff:

40. The Director General, in his opening remarks to the Board of Governors on 12 September 2011, stated that in the near future he hoped to set out in greater detail the basis for the Agency's concerns so that all Member States would be kept fully informed. In line with that statement, the Annex to this report provides a detailed analysis of the information available to the Agency to date which has given rise to concerns about possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.
41. The analysis itself is based on a structured and systematic approach to information analysis which the Agency uses in its evaluation of safeguards implementation in all States with comprehensive safeguards agreements in force. This approach involves, inter alia, the identification of indicators of the existence or development of the processes associated with nuclear-related activities, including weaponization.
42. The information which serves as the basis for the Agency’s analysis and concerns, as identified in the Annex, is assessed by the Agency to be, overall, credible [emph. add.]. The information comes from a wide variety of independent sources, including from a number of Member States, from the Agency’s own efforts and from information provided by Iran itself. It is consistent in terms of technical content, individuals and organizations involved, and time frames.

Keeping in mind that Wikileaks cable, I am not sure I'll accept 42 without some restrains. That "overall" term is quite a hedge on any detail ...

The one really important sentence in the whole IAEA report is in chapter K. "Summary" para 52:

the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and LOFs declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement

The IAEA certifies that Iran has not diverted any nuclear material to nefarious purpose.

Now onto the Annex on "possible military dimensions". Three parts: A. Historical overview of agency efforts, B. Description of sources and assessment of their credibility, C. Agency analysis with regard to weaponization.

In the history section the IAEA is fudging with the "work plan" that was once agreed on between the IAEA and Iran and solved all then outstanding issues. The "alleged studies", material provided by the U.S. after the work plan was finished, were not an original part of that. Now Amano tries to make them part of it.

Chapter A "History" of the Annex, para 10, is quite unfair to the Iranians:

10. Between 2007 and 2010, Iran continued to conceal nuclear activities, by not informing the Agency in a timely manner of the decision to construct or to authorize construction of a new nuclear power plant at Darkhovin16 and a third enrichment facility near Qom (the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant). ...

Iran has the quite plausible standpoint that it has never ratified the Additional Protocol in its relation to the IAEA. Under that standpoint it never had to inform the agency on the decisions to construct something until six month before introducing nuclear material in that place.

To say that Iran "conceal nuclear activities" by not informing the IAEA earlier than it is legally required without ratifying the AP quite off the mark.

Chapter B "Credibility of Information" seems to want to impress just with numbers with claiming "over a thousand pages" received but not with facts about or analysis of possible motives of the providers of such information.

Chapter C.1. "Programme management structure" seems to be a bunch of bull****:

21. The majority of the details of the work said to have been conducted under the AMAD Plan come from the alleged studies documentation ...

"alleged studies" = "Laptop of Death" = U.S./MEK/Israeli disinformation. ...

23. Information the Agency has received from Member States indicates that, owing to growing concerns about the international security situation in Iraq and neighbouring countries at that time, work on the AMAD Plan was stopped rather abruptly pursuant to a “halt order” instruction issued in late 2003 by senior Iranian officials.

That is a confirmation of the NIE U.S. intelligence agencies issued and which was again confirmed by Mr. Clapper in recent Congress hearing. According to the agencies and him Iran stopped all even slightly weapon related nuclear activities, the alleged "weapons program", in 2003.

C. 3. (short form - b.): Al Baradei was wrong on the "Green Salt Project" (which is nonsense - b.) and we now believe what the "alleged studies" say about it. (see first quote above for a reasonable explanation of this change of mind - b.)

Tons of pseudo stuff in the following sub-chapters ... For example:

43. Information provided to the Agency by the same Member State (the U.S. - b.) referred to in the previous paragraph describes the multipoint initiation concept referred to above as being used by Iran in at least one large scale experiment in 2003 ...
C.6. Initiation of high explosives and associated experiments

43. Information provided to the Agency by the same Member State referred to in the previous paragraph describes the multipoint initiation concept referred to above as being used by Iran in at least one large scale experiment in 2003 to initiate a high explosive charge in the form of a hemispherical shell.

Nothing confirmed there. It is all "information provided" via a shady "laptop of death" with unknown origin of the original source.

And now we come to the paragraph that confirms my research and analysis:

44. The Agency has strong indications that the development by Iran of the high explosives initiation system, and its development of the high speed diagnostic configuration used to monitor related experiments, were assisted by the work of a foreign expert who was not only knowledgeable in these technologies, but who, a Member State has informed the Agency, worked for much of his career with this technology in the nuclear weapon programme of the country of his origin. The Agency has reviewed publications by this foreign expert and has met with him. The Agency has been able to verify through three separate routes, including the expert himself, that this person was in Iran from about 1996 to about 2002, ostensibly to assist Iran in the development of a facility and techniques for making ultra-dispersed diamonds (“UDDs” or “nanodiamonds”), where he also lectured on explosion physics and its applications.

Exactly what I wrote about Mr. Danilenko ...


Okay - it is getting late for me - social duties await - I'll continue my analysis tomorrow.

What I have read so far is quite unconvincing to any detail obsessed and knowledgeable reader but will give amply fodder for the usual propagandist in the mass media.

On the big scope that seems to be the sole purpose of Amano's prostitution in this "document".

Posted by b on November 8, 2011 at 18:50 UTC | Permalink


again, thanks

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 8 2011 19:06 utc | 1

First off, I love the repeated claim that information used here "is assessed by the Agency to be, overall, credible." They repeat that "overall" bit. Sounds like at someone on the inside was calling BS loud enough to force them to caveat their conclusions a little bit.

On the Annex:

C.1 - No comment, except that paragraph 21 notes "The majority of the details of the work said to have been conducted under the AMAD Plan come from the alleged studies documentation" (the Laptop of Death or "LoD").

C.2 - "Procurement" now includes "high-speed cameras" and "training courses on...hydrodynamics." NB: I've "procured" both of these myself, so presumably I am a nuclear power.

C.3 - Only new (to me, maybe others have heard this) claim is at 29, that Iran is experimenting with recovering uranium from floride compounds. Of course, I'm baffled as to who thought Iran wasn't doing this, or what about this work differentiates a military program from a civilian program.

C.4 - I'm not seeing anything new here, just the "uranium metal document" rehashed. But it's widely known that Iran has had conceptual plans for a nuclear bomb (in part because the CIA gave them the plans).

C.5 - Detonator development. The information here comes from what Iran told the IAEA in 2008 and from a paper Iranian researchers published in 2005. Is this for real?

C.6 - This goes to the "foreign expert" b has already debunked. It also refers to an experiment in 2003. Is this news?

C.7 - The "large explosives containment vessel" which b has already debunked.

C.8 - p. 53 reiterates LoD. p. 54 describes the open source work by Iranian scientists (and acknowledges this has common non-nuclear-weapon uses. The only thing new is p. 52 - "modelling studies alleged to have been conducted in 2008 and 2009." There isn't any information to source or back up that allegation, but I think it finally meets the basic criteria of potentially new information that could be related to a nuclear weapons program.

C.9 - Iran is manufacturing "small capsules" and "may also have experimented" with their use in a nuclear core. Really? "may have"? Won't even bring out the heavy guns and say "is alleged to"?

C.10 - Conducting a test. Not just "may have," but now "may have planned." I challenge anyone to refute the IAEA. Prove there is no possibility Iran might have ever planned a test.

C.11 - And were back to the LoD. 5 paragraphs, all related back to the single source.

C.12 - Back to the LoD. Also, their chart doesn't back up their claims that other uses for an airburst modelling could be "ruled out." Their chart, made with the help of "experts from Member States," calls such other uses "unlikely," it doesn't rule them out.

So, after a quick read-through by a complete non-expert, I'm unimpressed.

Posted by: Bill | Nov 8 2011 19:38 utc | 2

As for the giant steel can in the ground, turns out it's been there since the early 2000's, including during two IAEA visits where they didn't find it or any other things suspicious at that site.

And yes, they do actually say the word "nanodiamonds" in the report, but shrug that off quickly because the technology is so similar to high explosives used as a trigger.

Be sure to note also (all my comments relate to paragraphs 43-45 and 50-51 of the annex)that the bulk of the info here comes from a single "Member State". Translation: this info was spoon-fed by the US.

Posted by: Jim White | Nov 8 2011 19:52 utc | 3

great work b

Posted by: annie | Nov 8 2011 21:35 utc | 4

Read the whole boring thing. Agree the 25 Pages don't convince me that anything is going on and it actually seems that the IAEA doesn't have much information on any weapons programme. The breakdowns of the various sites that the IAEA visited seem to always end with the words "the Agency has concluded that the facility has operated as declared by Iran."

Some thoughts on the whole thing:

- Natanz Enrichment Facility (which is generally thought to have been the Stuxnet target) was visited by the IAEA around two weeks ago. This quote is mentioned

"Iran has estimated that, between 18 October 2010 and 1 November 2011, it produced 1787 kg of low
enriched UF6, which would result in a total production of 4922 kg of low enriched UF6 since production
began in February 2007"

No expert, but it seems to me that despite a cyber attack taking out some of the centrifuges they still managed to produce more kg of low enriched uranium than previous years.

- Military Dimensions.

In the Military Dimensions looking at links between the military and the civilian nuclear programme it accuses the Iranian military of involvement in:

"The acquisition of nuclear weapons development information and documentation from a clandestine nuclear supply network"

I'm assuming this is the AQ Khan Network that was busted in 2003 for selling Nuclear technology to North Korea, Iran and Libya. If so it fits with the US IEA that found nuke weapons research stopped in 2003 and is therefore very old news.

- Hydrodynamic explosives and the Parchin Site.

The now famous case of the Iranians testing explosions in a bus-sized steel container at the Parchin site.

The explosives vessel, or chamber, is said to have been put in place at Parchin in 2000. A building was constructed at that time around a large cylindrical object at a location at the Parchin military complex.

Again no allegations that this has been active or used beyond the 2003 timeframe.

- Project 111

Again from 2002-2003 the IAEA report implies that Iran worked on remodelling Shahab-3 Missiles to hold a "new payload" as a test for carrying a nuclear payload.

Finally most of this information in the report was "supplied to the IAEA by a member state". No prizes for guessing who. But all in all I don't see much that is new in this document. IAEA inspections at all the sites have found it operating normally. Most of the claims date back to between 1997 and 2003 backing up the US Intelligance Estimate that Iran stopped its nuke weapons research in 2003 (the time the AQ Khan network was busted) and from a laymans point of view it looks like Stuxnet hasn't had much of a real impact on Uranium enrichment whose volume has actually increased from Oct 2010 to Oct 2011 (The Bushehr plant another suspected Stuxnet target was also fully operational when the IAEA visited on Oct 3rd last month though it is undergoing a "regular maintaince" at present time).

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Nov 8 2011 22:04 utc | 5

This was written by an actual physicist on Iran's nuclear program:

Posted by: Anon | Nov 9 2011 0:42 utc | 6

Remember the ALUMINUM tubes?


Posted by: Anon | Nov 9 2011 0:44 utc | 7

I'm sighing too. People are itchin' for a war with Iran and I can't figure out why?

I think the folks here in the U.S. are still bitter about their shaw being disposed back in the '70's, or maybe we americans just like fighting useless wars? Either way the folks at the Market Ticker are itching for a fight:

Iran Apologists, Answer To This

Can you believe that thread came from the same dude who wrote this:

The Mentality Of The Cops: Wake Up Officers!

Hard for me to figure where a freak like Karl stands... maybe like too many others he sees what he wants to see and rejects the rest. Or maybe I'm the freak, after all I'm the one who thinks 9/11 was a false flag op...


Posted by: DaveS | Nov 9 2011 3:29 utc | 8

that "overall" caveat admits all they have are unsubstantiated rumors and suspicions; on the other hand, it is a masterpiece of propaganda because it will render irrelevant any critique of any particular detail of the report - "over a thousand pages", wow!

btw - thanks, b

Posted by: claudio | Nov 9 2011 8:05 utc | 9

I won't read the piece of shit. I won't fall into that trap. The trap is that they get you to start pedantically arguing over minutia, that you soon overlook the entire argument is an illegitimate one. The real argument here is Iran's right to develop nuclear technology in any way they deem fit, just as many other countries, such as Israel for example, have done and are doing. By taking this bait, you argue their flimsy details with passion, and what if the charges, in the end, prove to be true, and Iran is building nuclear weapons. You've now got egg all over your face, and they can jump up and down and say "I told you you have no credibility, so keep your mouth shut and get out of the way." It's because you chose the wrong place to focus your inquisitive and passionate scrutiny. Bring the argument back to center, where it belongs. Don't let them choose the argument and the venue.

The argument is, does the West, and its allies, have any business telling Iran what it can and can't do in regards to nuclear technology.

If the answer provided by them is yes, because Iran plans on using those weapons preemptively, then tackle those assertions head-on.

But, to argue the devilish details of the possibility that Iran is developing nuclear weaponry is a futile waste of time. Stick to the principles and larger issue at play here, not the quicksand they have prepared to mire you in.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Nov 9 2011 13:51 utc | 10

The Leveretts think dragging the IAEA into the Bomb Bomb Iran crank-fest will backfire.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 9 2011 17:09 utc | 11

Xymphora's opinion of the IAEA report...

"This sounds like a good start on a proof for the existence of God."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 10 2011 1:43 utc | 12

MKB thinks Israel has just about exhausted its capacity to come up with persuasive or credible spin on Iran.

Also, the reliably moronic and untrustworthy "Israeli" press is pushing the boundaries of insanity.
Again/as usual.
There's a Ynet article claiming El Baradei (the ex-head of the IAEA) was an Iranian agent.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 10 2011 3:27 utc | 13

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