UN: Iran worked on nuclear weapons until 2009

IAEA report claims Iran pursued nuclear weapons until 2009, including at disputed Parchin site, both of which Tehran denies.

Matt Wanderman,

Netanyahu presents his "nuclear bomb" graphic at the UN in 2012
Netanyahu presents his "nuclear bomb" graphic at the UN in 2012
Avi Ohayon/GPO/Flash 90

The United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has released part of its report on Iran, and it shows that many of critics' fears were justified.

The IAEA says it believes that the Islamic Republic made a "coordinated" effort to develop nuclear weapons in the past, although the efforts apparently ended at an early stage. 

According to the report, most of the dedicated work took place before 2003, though some parts continued until 2009.

"These activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities," wrote IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano. "The Agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009."

Most of the work involved scientific studies and investigating the feasibility of a weapon, though Iran did make some progress towards developing an offensive nuclear capability.

The report repudiates the long-held Iranian claim that they have never desired nuclear weapons. In particular, it charges that the disputed Parchin military site was, in fact, a facility used for nuclear weapons research.

Tehran has been notably hostile to the investigation. Even so, the US says that it still intends to relax the economic sanctions against Iran in the near future.




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