February 22, 2013 – New York – AJC urged world powers to stand firm in next week’s talks with Iran, after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a new report confirming that more advanced uranium enrichment machines have been installed at the Natanz facility. Iran last month notified the IAEA about its Natanz plans, a move the U.S. called “a provocative step.
The new IAEA report comes just days after the a team of inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog agency visited Iran, and ahead of the February 26 talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers – the U.S., China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.
The meeting in Kazakhstan will be the first since last June. Three previous rounds of talks ended inconclusively, and, meanwhile, Iran has shown no hesitation to proceed with its nuclear program. Compelling evidence that the goal is to reach nuclear weapons capability has led to a series of UN and IAEA resolutions, and a robust regime of ever-tightening international economic and financial sanctions.
“Let's be clear: Iran’s nuclear program is a clear and present threat to regional and global security. It must be confronted with the strongest possible sanctions and political isolation, while leaving all options credibly – and we underscore the word credibly – on the table,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Tehran’s blatant lack of cooperation demands maximum unity among the world powers coming to Kazakhstan.”
The new IAEA report pointed out that Iran "has not fully implemented its binding obligations," and that this was "needed to establish international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program.”
The report concluded that "the director general is unable to report any progress on the clarification of outstanding issues, including those relating to possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program.”
The Iranian nuclear threat has been an AJC priority concern for more than 15 years. It topped the agenda of AJC Board delegations in a series of meetings last month with senior government leaders, including two prime ministers and six foreign ministers, and numerous other Cabinet-level officials, in Europe and the Middle East.