The nuclear programme of Iran is one of the sources of concern especially for United States and its allies. They believe that Iran is preparing to build nuclear weapons, while the leadership of Iran says that the aim of their nuclear programme is to generate energy because they want to earn more revenue by the exportation of their oil and willing to supply more oil to their local medical reactors. If we trace out the history of Iran’s nuclear programme we will find many ups and downs of West and the Iran.
The recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report challenges the Iran’s argument that they are not obtaining the nuclear weapons. In this report, the weapons inspectors of United Nations (UN) released a collection of new evidence that declares that, “Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device” and their programme may be continue.
In this report IAEA has issued a ruthless judgment against nuclear programme of Iran which it has never issued before. It has renewed the debate among the US, West and Israel that whether raise the diplomatic sanctions, pressure or direct military action can stop the nuclear programme of Iran. Report has not predicted any estimated time frame that how long Iran would be able to make nuclear weapons. Nevertheless it says that Iran has moved ahead in creating new computer models for conducting nuclear experiments. It also claims that the Iran stated construction of a vessel for conducting the tests in 2000 but that was not shown to the UN inspection team.
The head of IAEA, Yukia Amano said that agency has collected leaked documents which are almost over a thousand pages that clearly shows the research, testing and development activities which usually used for the designing purposes of nuclear weapons. In the broader perspective the IAEA report on the Iran’s nuclear programme and its military dimensions are not new but this report gives detailed information regarding its weapons related activities as compare to pervious published reports.
The report has shown the activities document of Iran which includes research related to nuclear warheads; it rejects the Iran’s claim of ‘nuclear programme for peaceful purposes’. The warhead work of Iran is also denies the obligation of Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), under which all the parties are committed “not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” The report hints that Iran is trying to cut down the timeframe for making the bomb, but its remainder that a nuclear armed Iran is still neither looming nor predictable.
The IAEA report claims that Iran rude attitude is encouraging the other non-proliferation countries to continue their programmes. It suggests that international community should prompt pressure on Iran to respond the IAEA inquiry and issue permit to the UN weapons inspectors for widespread inspection of its nuclear facilities, to give more serious response and interest in on diplomatic talks on the nuclear issue.
Review of the Key Findings of IAEA Report
According to the IAEA report, prior Tehran was busy for making full range of nuclear weapons to end of 2003, for obtaining the raw material to functioning they could ultimately deliver through a missile. It is very important to know that how that work has been carried out and organized. The series of development projects of Iran’s of nuclear programme were under the command of senior Iranian officials.
Key factors of Iran’s Nuclear Programme are given below:
- Production of Fissile Material: Tehran ran a silent effort to manufacture Green Salt (Uranium Tetra Fluoride), a predecessor for the uranium used in the process of enrichment. The connection between this development and other projects clearly connected to warhead development that advocates that the nuclear programme of Iran is included both warhead development and fissile material production.
- Verification of Warhead Design: Iran accomplished experiments with high explosives to check the strength of its warhead design and hold in preliminary work to achieve complete underground explosions of nuclear test.
- High Explosives Testing: The Iran’s tests relating exploding bridge wire detonators and the simultaneous firing of explosives around a hemispherical shape points to work on nuclear warhead design. The Report says that the category of high explosives testing equivalent an accessible to nuclear weapon designs. Iran affirms to does such work, but argues that it is only for conventional military purposes.
- Shahab-III Re-entry Vehicle: After reviewing the leaked documents of Iran IAEA has suggested that, in 2003 Iran wanted to extend a small nuclear warhead which can be fitted on Shahab-III missile. After arguments with IAEA on such studies, Iran acknowledged that such work possibly compose nuclear weapons, but rejects the IAEA’s claim of carrying out such sort of research.
In the report, IAEA has admitted that it has not enough information about Iran’s work on warhead which it has continued to pursue since 2003. However the agency has provided some tiny evidences of activities that Tehran subsequently restarted, which looks to be focused on verification of warhead design. The report has given some details of the changes which have been taken place in the organization since 2003 that includes the existing position of the person who previously oversaw the AMAD Plan, indicates that intelligence agencies are still have extensive insight into the Iran’s nuclear programme. Probably Iran is concerned about its incapability to conceal such significant information and will possibly appoint further reformation after this report.
After the release of IAEA report, the US and its allies cut Iran off from the international financial system, and imposed against its commercial banks. On the other hand US also imposed sanctions on the nuclear industry, oil and petrochemical industries, US of the view that these companies are involved in Iran’s nuclear programme. They believe that these sorts of measures will weaken Iran. The government of Iran has condemned the sanctions, and the started the protest against the British Embassy complex in Tehran. Presently, US Senate has passed the bill against Iran that would stop financial institutions that do business with Central Bank of Iran. Bill has been passed by Senate and sent to President Obama for sign.
Iran categorically rejected the IAEA report and said that it is a US manufactured document which has no reality. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad talking on the report said that “, saying it had been orchestrated by Iran’s enemies, principally the United States, which had dictated the report’s findings.” While the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khameneai said that his voice to the country’s bellicose backlash, warning any potential military attackers that they would face a strong slap and iron fist.” The anger Iran boycotted the IAEA meeting at Vienna. The meeting was about the nuclear issues of Middle East where 97 states were invited but it did not participate. The boycott has also widened the differences between the Iran and the western powers.
It is clear that Iran’s nuclear program is a major source of concern for United States, Israel, and Western countries. The war mongering has started from the Israeli leadership after the recent IAEA report on the nuclear program of Iran. While rejecting the IAEA report Iran has declared that it will not accept any pressure and will reply to any suspected attack by US or Israel. No doubt that Iran has limited air defense capabilities but can cause noteworthy damage to the interfering US and Israel aircrafts. Recently, Iran has shot down the US drone which shows the capability of Iran on its territory and has threatened the blockade of the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran can not inflict any threat to US or Israel, because it does not have the border with US or Israel and can not match with the super power or Israel. Both states are more ahead in every section of military to Iran. But US and Israel are not in position to launch attack against Iran. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has also said that “Military action against Iran could have unintended consequences in the region”. On the other hand the China and Russia have said no to more sanctions against Tehran. China and Russia have economic ties with Iran. China is the main trading partner of Tehran and it is also reliant on Iran to meet its increasing energy demands and Russia earns millions of dollars in arms trade with Tehran. The US and Israel attack on Iran’s nuclear installations would incite tension in the region.