By Mark Morgenstein
Iran is not cooperating, making it difficult for the UN's nuclear watchdog agency to provide "credible assurance" that the country doesn't possess undeclared nuclear material, the International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano said Monday.
Speaking to the IAEA's board of governors, Amano said Iran should grant access "without further delay" to the Parchin military complex, where the Islamic Republic is believed to have tested rockets.
Since Iran has not provided such access to date, "The Agency therefore cannot conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities," Amano said.
Amano noted that Iran has recently begun installing IR-2m centrifuges at its fuel enrichment plant at Natanz, and that those high-speed devices that rotate to enrich uranium are more advanced than the previously-installed centrifuges.
The IAEA board has been trying to negotiate cooperation from Iran for years.FULL STORY
By Elise Labott
Kazakhstan, the venue for the latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and world powers, offers the kind of symbolism the United States hopes will serve as a model for Iran.
The former Soviet Republic gave up a formidable nuclear stockpile after achieving independence in the 1990s and now is in negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency to host a bank of nuclear fuel that would eliminate the need for a county like Iran to enrich uranium for themselves.
"Kazakhstan made very, very fundamental decisions to give up their nuclear weapons, to have a peaceful civil nuclear program," a senior U.S. official told reporters in Almaty, the nation's former capital. "In many ways, they are a model of what is possible."
From 1949 through 1989, the Soviet Union conducted hundreds of nuclear tests and experiments, both underground and above ground, at Kazakhstan's Semipalatinsk test site.
By Ed Payne, CNN
Reaction to North Korea's nuclear test - its third since 2006 - poured in Tuesday from around the world:
Barack Obama, U.S. president:
"This is a highly provocative act that ... undermines regional stability, violates North Korea's obligations under numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, contravenes its commitments under the September 19, 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, and increases the risk of proliferation.
North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs constitute a threat to U.S. national security and to international peace and security. The United States remains vigilant in the face of North Korean provocations and steadfast in our defense commitments to allies in the region."
"The danger posed by North Korea's threatening activities warrants further swift and credible action by the international community. The United States will also continue to take steps necessary to defend ourselves and our allies."FULL STORY
By Pam Benson
Recent satellite photos show continued activity at a controversial Iranian military site that international weapons inspectors have repeatedly been denied access to, according to a Washington-based think tank.
The Institute for Science and International Study obtained imagery from DigitalGlobe taken on November 7 that the institute says shows changes in the roofs on two key buildings at the Parchin Military Complex. ISIS also pointed out there is a new addition on the building suspected of containing a high-explosives chamber and piles of dirt not seen in an image taken on September 19.
ISIS said the imagery indicates additional changes will be made to the site, making it more difficult for the international inspectors.
"The considerable amount of new materials, equipment, and rows of earth piles suggest that further construction will be taking place, thus increasing the level of alteration and further degrading the chance of obtaining reliable environmental samples if and when (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspectors gain access to the site," ISIS stated.
Since January, the IAEA has been seeking access to the site, where it suspects Iran may have conducted high-explosives tests related to the development of nuclear weapons. Iran denies that Parchin has any role in its nuclear program.
The latest IAEA report on Iran released earlier this month said the "extensive activities" at the Parchin site are certain to have "seriously undermined" the agency's verification process.
Those activities include "significant ground scraping and landscaping" with new dirt roads.
Iran's Atomic Energy head admitted to lying in order to protect the country's nuclear program, CNN's Suzanne Kelly reports
By Larry Shaughnessy
New commercial satellite photos continue to show that Iran is trying to cover up work started at a facility it has been using for high explosives tests related to what the United States believes is that country's nuclear weapons program, according to a former international weapons inspector who has been closely flowing Iran's nuclear ambitions.
"The degree of the site's modification and the fact that this apparent cleanup work started soon after the IAEA's (International Atomic Energy Agency) request for access cast further doubt on Iran's claims that its nuclear program does not or has never had any military aspects," says a report issued by the Institute for Science and International Security and written by the inspector, David Albright, and co-author Robert Avagyan.
In May, satellite photos showed items being moved at that the site, which the institute said had remained unchanged since 2004. The latest photos show a pair of buildings have been knocked down and much of the sight has been cleaned up. The institute said Iran claims the activity is routine construction work.
The site at the Parchin military complex southwest of Terhan is the focus of a dispute between the Iranian government and the IAEA. According to a report by the institute, the IAEA announced last February, it wanted to inspect that site to make sure there had been no testing of high-explosives for nuclear-related purposes.
Iran would not agree to the inspection unless there was an agreement on its entire nuclear program.
By Pam Benson
Recent satellite imagery shows Iran continues to clean up areas of a controversial military site believed to be involved in its nuclear program, according to analysis of the images by a Washington-based think tank.
The Institute for Science and International Study obtained imagery from GeoEye taken on June 7 that shows heavy machinery tracks and earth displacement consistent with a cleanup effort at the Parchin Military Complex, according to the institute's analysis.
GeoEye is a commercial satellite imaging company.
By Pam Benson
An additional six countries and Taiwan have significantly reduced their imports of Iranian crude oil and will not face tough sanctions from the United States, according to a statement released Monday by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
India, Malaysia, South Korea, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan now join 11 other countries that have met requirements set by U.S. law to reduce oil purchases from Iran to avoid a cutoff in access to the U.S. financial system.
Japan and 10 countries from the European Union secured waivers from U.S. sanctions in March.
"By reducing Iran's oil sales, we are sending a decisive message to Iran's leaders: until they take concrete actions to satisfy the concerns of the international community, they will continue to face increasing isolation and pressure," Clinton said in a statement.
By Ashley Fantz
A former spokesman for Iran's nuclear program whose life was turned upside down when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused him of spying still vigorously defended his homeland's nuclear efforts on Tuesday.
Sayed Hossein Mousavian stressed that the West is making a mistake in believing that Iran is making a bomb, or that the country has nefarious intentions with its nuclear plan.
Mousavian, an associate research scholar at Princeton, spoke for an hour at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.
He repeatedly said that the West, particularly the United States, must recognize Iran's right to build its nuclear program and that the United States and Iran would be better served if they were less suspicious of each other. He also argued that the international community should ease sanctions against Iran. FULL POST
By Joe Sterling
Inspectors found a high level of enriched uranium in Iran, a U.N. report said Friday, as world powers attempt to work to stop the country from developing the capacity for nuclear weapons.
The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency asked Iran this month to explain the presence of particles of enrichment levels of up to 27%, found in an analysis of environmental samples taken in February at the Fordo fuel enrichment plant near the city of Qom.
The previous highest level had been 20%, typically used for hospital isotopes and research reactors, but is also seen as a shortcut toward the 90% enrichment required to build nuclear weapons.
Iran said in response that the production of such particles "above the target value" may happen for "technical reasons beyond the operator's control." The IAEA said it is "assessing Iran's explanation and has requested further details."