Tom Cochran, director of NRDC's nuclear program, 202-289-2372
WASHINGTON (November 13, 2003) -- On November 10, the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a 30-page confidential report on Iran's nuclear activities. The report, which the agency sent to its board of governors and to 20 governments, reveals that for the past 18 years Iran has secretly developed technologies for producing weapon-usable highly enriched uranium and plutonium. (Click here for the IAEA report.) During that time, the report says, Iran violated its Nonproliferation Treaty obligations and falsified declarations to the agency regarding safeguards required under the treaty.
According to the report, "Iran's policy of concealment continued until last month, with cooperation being limited and reactive, and information being slow in coming, changing and contradictory. While most of the breaches identified to date have involved limited quantities of nuclear material, they have dealt with the most sensitive aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, including enrichment and reprocessing."
Despite these findings, the report goes on to say that no evidence exists of a current weapons project in Iran, a conclusion that NRDC's nuclear experts dispute. "It's dumbfounding that the IAEA, after saying that Iran for 18 years had a secret effort to enrich uranium and separate plutonium, would turn around and say there was no evidence of a nuclear weapons program," said NRDC nuclear program director Tom Cochran in an interview with the New York Times. "If that's not evidence, I don't know what is."
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 550,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.