Israel: IAEA report ‘proves beyond doubt’ Iran had secret nuclear weapons program

The latest UN report on Iran’s nuclear program confirms what Israel has long been insisting: Iran has been developing nuclear weapons.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News and AP
Parchin suspected nuclear site

2004 satellite image of the suspected nuclear testing site in Parchin. (AP/DigitalGlobe-Institute for Science and International Security)

The report by the UN’s International Atomic and Energy Agency (IAEA) proves “beyond any doubt” that Iran had a secret program to develop nuclear weapons, Israel stated on Wednesday.

The IAEA published a report earlier in the day stating that Iran worked to develop nuclear arms in the past. The agency “assesses that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place” up to 2009. The report added that Iran failed to develop weapons-grade technology and stopped short of the advanced development of such weapons.

“The IAEA investigation proves beyond any doubt that Iran’s secret program for the development of nuclear weapons continued even after 2003, as Israel has maintained,” a statement issued by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office read.

“In addition, the report exposes the methods Iran used to conceal and deceive regarding its nuclear program. The most glaring example of this pertains to the Parchin facility where the Iranians tried to hide and tamper with evidence of their illicit activities.”

The Parchin military base is the site Western nations suspect was used to experiment on detonators for nuclear weapons.

The IAEA assessment noted Iran did not provide new information on some queries dating back to 2011, when the IAEA first detailed its allegations, on work that in some cases seemed to have no other purpose but to make nuclear arms.

Israel stated it expects the international community “to continue and expand the IAEA investigation in these areas and to use all means at its disposal to ensure that Iran will not be able to secretly build a nuclear weapon.”

“Unless and until the investigation is completed, the world will not know the full extent of Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program and where it stands today,’ Israel warned in the statement.

No previous IAEA report has so clearly linked Iran’s past nuclear work to weapons development.

Iran has consistently denied any interest in nuclear arms or past work on such weapons, and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqhchi told Iranian television that the IAEA report “confirms the peaceful nature” Iran’s nuclear program.