Casey, Colleagues Urge Greater Transparency in Reporting on Iran’s Nuclear Program

Casey, Colleagues Urge Greater Transparency in Reporting on Iran’s Nuclear Program

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today joined 14 of his colleagues in sending a letter to President Obama urging the Administration to work with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to encourage additional transparency when reporting on Iran’s nuclear program. The IAEA is responsible for monitoring and verifying Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) reached by the P5+1 and Iran last year.

“We supported the JCPOA and continue to believe it is the best available option to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. We are committed to ensuring that the terms of the agreement are enforced,” wrote the Senators. “The successful implementation of the JCPOA requires verification of Iran’s compliance with its terms. The intrusive inspection regime on Iran's nuclear program provided for by the JCPOA is a strength of the agreement…We urge your administration to ensure that the IAEA releases all relevant technical information so that we may continue to make our own judgments about the status of Iran’s nuclear program.”

The IAEA releases periodic reports on the status of Iran’s nuclear program and its compliance with the terms of the nuclear agreement. Its most recent report, released in May 2016, indicates that Iran is currently in compliance with the nuclear agreement but does not include key technical details, including the total quantity of low enriched uranium in Iran, the amount produced since prior reports, details on the number of centrifuges used for enrichment, and centrifuge research and development. Peters and his colleagues are requesting the disclosure of additional information to allow independent verification of Iran’s compliance.

Casey was joined on the letter by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (WI), Michael Bennet (CO), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Cory Booker (NJ), Gary Peters (MI), Chris Coons (DE), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Tim Kaine (VA), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Jon Tester (MT), Mark Warner (VA), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Ron Wyden (OR).

The full text of the letter is copied below:

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing in reaction to the May 27 IAEA Board Report on Iran’s compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2231, the resolution which codifies the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) into international law. We supported the JCPOA and continue to believe it is the best available option to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. We are committed to ensuring that the terms of the agreement are enforced.

According to information published by the IAEA, Iran is currently in compliance with the JCPOA. We respectfully request that the United States work to ensure that the IAEA publish additional technical details that will allow for independent verification of Iran’s compliance.

The May report does not indicate the total quantity of 3.67% Low Enriched Uranium in Iran or the amount that has been produced at Natanz since the prior report. It also omits critical details regarding the number of centrifuges being used for enrichment at Natanz and lacks specifics on Iran’s ongoing centrifuge research and development. This information is critical to understanding the extent of Iran’s uranium stock, and whether Iran might be exploiting any loopholes in the 300kg cap condition as part of the JCPOA.

In addition to lacking vital information on the status of Iran’s uranium stock and enrichment capabilities, the report leaves out vital details on Iranian facilities. The report does not comment on the progress made in transitioning Fordow to a research facility or provide updates on the redesign of the Arak heavy water research reactor. This data is critical for ensuring the ability to independently verify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA.

The successful implementation of the JCPOA requires verification of Iran’s compliance with its terms. The intrusive inspection regime on Iran's nuclear program provided for by the JCPOA is a strength of the agreement. Providing additional situational awareness of Iran’s nuclear program is vital for the long-term health of this agreement. We urge your administration to ensure that the IAEA releases all relevant technical information so that we may continue to make our own judgments about the status of Iran’s nuclear program.

Sincerely,

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