Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Iran Update: IAEA Calls Iranian Cooperation “Significant” and Seals New Nuclear Plan; Iran Keeps Up Their Iraq Contribution

Posted by K.E. White on August 30, 2007

A Guardian report today seems to ease the nuclear tension between America and Iran:

The U.N. nuclear agency said Thursday that Iran was producing less nuclear fuel than expected and praised Tehran for “a significant step forward” in explaining past atomic actions that have raised suspicions.

The report is expected to make it more difficult for the United States to rally support for a new round of sanctions against Tehran.

At the same time, the report confirmed that Iran continued to expand its uranium enrichment program, reflecting the Islamic republic’s defiance of the U.N. Security Council. Still, U.N. officials said, both enrichment and the building of a plutonium-producing reactor was continuing more slowly than expected.

And BBC News reports on a new Iran-IAEA plan:

In a confidential report, a copy of which was obtained by the BBC, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the work plan it had agreed with Iran to clear up key questions about its past nuclear activities was a “significant step forward”.

But it added: “Once Iran’s past nuclear programme has been clarified, Iran would need to continue to build confidence about the scope and nature of its present and future nuclear programme.”

It said it was essential for Iran to stick to the agreed timeline.

But Max Boot blog over at Contentions highlights this Kim Kagan report on Iran’s military activities in Iraq:

Kagan notes that, among other things, the Iranian government began plotting to undermine coalition forces in 2002—before the U.S. and its allies even entered Iraq. That effort has expanded so much over the years since then—now encompassing aid not only to Shiite but also to Sunni militants—that, according to Kagan:

Coalition sources report that by August 2007, Iranian-backed insurgents accounted for roughly half the attacks on Coalition forces, a dramatic change from previous periods that had seen the overwhelming majority of attacks coming from the Sunni Arab insurgency and al Qaeda.

Meanwhile, the New York Post ran an enlightening interview, conducted by Ralph Peters, with Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq. Odierno has a lot of interesting things to say, but this point jumped out at me: “There are some signs that Syria’s doing a bit more to stem the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq, but their efforts are off and on. The airport in Damascus remains a major conduit for terrorists. The Syrians clearly still believe that instability in Iraq is to their benefit.”

The full Kagan report can be read here.

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