Israel: UN witholding details of Iran's nuclear program
Foreign Min. statement follows IAEA report saying Iran's nuclear program may have 'military dimensions'.
The Foreign Ministry on Saturday issued a statement accusing the International Atomic Energy Agency of not publishing information gathered against Iran's nuclear energy program.
The statement alleges that an IAEA report on Iran's nuclear energy program released on Friday "does not reflect the entirety of the information the IAEA holds on Iran's efforts to advance their military program, nor their continued efforts to conceal and deceive and their refusal to cooperate with the IAEA and the international community."
According to the statement, Israel expects the international community "to quickly take significance steps to cancel Iran's nuclear weapons program."
The Foreign Ministry statement comes ahead of next month's annual IAEA committee meeting in Vienna and a special UN Security Council meeting to discuss Iran's nuclear program.
The statement also accuses Iran of "foot-dragging" and continuing to ignore IAEA questions about its nuclear program and "continues to avoid adhering to Security Council demands to stop enriching uranium."
In the IAEA report released Friday, the UN nuclear watchdog says Iran's nuclear energy program may contain "military dimensions."
In other words, the IAEA report states that Iran may be working towards acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. The report was issued just prior to the annual meeting of IAEA member states which is scheduled to convene next month in Vienna.
A senior Iranian envoy angrily denounced the assessment as "fabrication," insisting his country has gone out of its way to be transparent and cooperative.
The report alleges that Iran is refusing the agency's repeated requests for explanations and documentation over its past nuclear activities. Tehran's non-compliance has raised suspicions that it is aiming to attain nuclear weapons.
It has become evident that Iran has confirmed, albeit implicitly, that it carried out experiments in order to test the process known as "detonation," a key stage in the development of nuclear weapons.
In addition, it refused to comment on other activities related to its nuclear program, including "weaponization," one of the final phases in manufacturing nuclear weapons in which fissionable material is installed into the bomb.
The report also states that Iran continues to install centrifuges used for enriching uranium in the nuclear facility in Natanz. The IAEA estimates that Iran has over 8,000 centrifuges.
In addition, Iran is believed to be proceeding with it uranium enrichment program. According to the IAEA, it has amassed over 1,000 kilograms of low-grade enriched uranium (up to five percent).
Should this quantity undergo an enrichment process that would raise its level to 90 percent, it would be sufficient in order to manufacture over 30 kilograms of fissionable material, enough to produce at least one atomic bomb.
The IAEA also states that Iran has completed nearly two-thirds of the heavy water reactor at Arak, which is capable of generating an output of 40 megawatts and manufacturing plutonium.
The IAEA report, which was submitted by the outgoing director-general Mohammed ElBaradei, is worded ambiguously and does not meet Israeli or Western expectations in its forcefulness against Iran's nuclear efforts.
Iran's chief representative to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told the AP he found the report "very frustrating," and angrily suggested that U.S. intelligence was working to undermine Iran's credibility.
"America alleges that Iran has a Manhattan Project to build a bomb," Soltanieh said. "This is ridiculous. This game is enough. It should be over. ... We have tried to take a very logical and pragmatic approach."
"All these things are fabrications. We have been too transparent and cooperative with the agency," he added.
"We are very concerned that they are not addressing the concerns of the international community," U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Friday in Washington.
"They say they want to have the right to a civilian nuclear energy program, but they also have the obligation to show the world that that is indeed what they intend to do," he said.