AIPAC STATEMENT ON IAEA VOTE TO CLOSE IRANIAN NUCLEAR FILE

THE AMERICAN ISRAEL PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
AIPAC Press Release
AIPAC STATEMENT ON IAEA VOTE TO CLOSE IRANIAN NUCLEAR FILE
December 15, 2015
       
AIPAC deplores the vote by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board to close the file on the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program. The IAEA is closing this file even after discovering further suspicious evidence and experiencing additional Iranian obstinacy. The IAEA could have recommended delaying Implementation Day until Iran demonstrated substantial compliance with its obligation to explain its past illicit nuclear activities. This decision to whitewash the past represents an inauspicious beginning to the implementation process of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).  


For over a decade, Iran has repeatedly withheld critical information from the IAEA and has lied by consistently denying nuclear weaponization work in the face of solid evidence to the contrary. Tehran has continued this practice even after accepting the JCPOA last July. Iran has ignored some IAEA official inquiries, and has provided incomplete or deceptive responses to many others. Moreover, the IAEA has gained only limited access to suspect locations and personnel.

Without a complete understanding of Iran’s past nuclear weaponization efforts, the IAEA will lack a sufficient baseline to create an effective inspections and verification regime capable of assuring Iranian compliance with the JCPOA. It is impossible to estimate how long it will take Iran to assemble a nuclear weapon—to break out—so long as the full state of its weaponization efforts remains unknown.

The Dec. 2 IAEA report confirmed that Iran has lied about its pursuit of a nuclear weapons program, and Iran continues its mendacity to this day. At the same time, Iran in recent weeks conducted a second illicit missile test to develop a capability to deliver a nuclear weapon, in clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. The continued pattern of violations and obstruction does not bode well for its adherence to the nuclear agreement.

By closing the PMD file and thereby acquiescing to an incomplete accounting of Iran’s past nuclear weapons activity, the board of the IAEA weakens the credibility of its institution and lessens the prospect that Iran will comply with the JCPOA in the future.

The United States should demand that the IAEA examines any new evidence of Iranian violations, and that the agency exercise maximum vigilance for Iranian compliance with the JCPOA. In addition, the United States should not hesitate to respond forcefully to any Iranian JCPOA violations.