IAEA Reaffirms Reality of Growing Iranian Nuclear Threat

August 31, 2012 – New York – The latest report of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is another stark reminder that Iran is accelerating its drive for nuclear-weapons capability.

"In light of this latest report, the international community must conclude the painfully obvious and redouble its efforts to bring maximum pressure on the Iranian regime," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.

The new IAEA report, released yesterday, confirmed that Iran has "sanitized" the Parchin military base, making it impossible for IAEA inspectors, if they were allowed to visit, to do their work. Iran "has been conducting activities at that location that will significantly hamper the Agency's ability to conduct effective verification," stated the IAEA report.

Strikingly, the watchdog agency also revealed that the number of enrichment centrifuges at the underground Fordow nuclear facility near Qom had more than doubled to 2,140 from 1,064 over the past three months.

"Those leaders currently gathered in Tehran for the Non-Aligned Movement summit – and whose presence the Iranian government is seeking to exploit – should resist entreaties to support the regime's nuclear program, which it falsely claims is for 'peaceful nuclear energy,'" said Harris. "The Iranian regime's adamant refusal to cooperate with the IAEA, coupled with what the agency has nonetheless been able to uncover, says it all."

AJC will discuss Iran's nuclear threat directly with the presidents, prime ministers and foreign minister of dozens of countries next month during the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York. The intense two weeks of private meetings, totaling more than 70 last year, is an annual AJC initiative the global advocacy organization launched in 1990.

This week's IAEA report follows one in February, in which IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano wrote that the agency "continues to have serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program," and noted that Iran has continued to carry out uranium enrichment in defiance of IAEA guidelines and UN Security Council resolutions.