Iran Lost Nothing but Trust over Confidential Doc Released
Iran is to file a note of protest with the International Atomic Energy Agency about the recent leak of confidential information on its nuclear program to the media, the state-run Press TV reported. Last week, the Associated Press released information about a recently obtained document on Iran’s nuclear program despite a non-disclosure agreement between Iran and the agency.
According to the document The Associated Press claimed to have obtained last Monday, Iran’s restrictions under the nuclear deal will “start to ease (two) years before the 15-year accord expires”. In fact, somewhere between year 11 to 13 of the implementation of the deal, Iran will be allowed to replace its mainstay of 5060 centrifuges with a maximum of 3500 advanced ones. Those new models will be less in number than those being used now, ranging between 2,500 and 3,500, depending on their efficiency, according to the document. By drawing a comparison between the outputs of the old and new centrifuges, AP concludes that the advanced machines will allow Iran to enrich uranium at more than twice the rate it is doing now.
The confidential document is believed to be the only part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action not made public. The diplomat who provided the AP with the document described it as an add-on agreement to the nuclear deal, submitted by Iran to the International Atomic Energy Agency outlining its plans to expand its uranium enrichment program after the first 10 years of the nuclear deal.
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said the document obtained by the AP posed no contradiction to the claim that Iran will need at least twelve months to make an atomic bomb if it chooses to do so because “we made it very clear that we were focused on 10 years on the minimum one-year breakout time.”
As for Iran’s reaction, it has been a bit mixed. First came Zarif’s response in which he expressed hope that it might help clarify where Iran’s nuclear program will stand in 15 years. “Not all of the world’s media have reviewed the document, to see the achievement our negotiators and industry have gained but they all admit Iran will quickly pursue its industrial-scale enrichment after 10 years,” he told reporters.
The spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi told IRNA on Sunday that the parts released were confidential and supposed to remain so. “We think it has leaked from the IAEA,” he said.
On Saturday, AEOI Director Ali Akbar Salehi told a presser Tehran has asked the IAEA to keep the program confidential, as there is no reason it should go public. “We also agreed to confidentially inform the JCPOA Joint Commission but should remain confidential,” Iranian Diplomacy quoted him as saying.
Salehi highlighted a quotation from the diplomat who gave the document to the AP in which he said it is unacceptable for Iran to be allowed a breakout after ten years. Salehi considers it positive, reiterating that Iran does not intend to make the program public but implicitly welcomed such revelations on the grounds that Iranians will be able to learn the appropriate predictions the negotiating team has made for the development of the country’s nuclear industry. Salehi says it’s the long-term nuclear industry development plan and Tehran did not want it to be public. However, one would gather that Iran does not lose anything, except for trust with the agency.
Opponents of the nuclear deal in Iran and in the US slammed the confidentiality of the negotiations that led to the JCPOA and are now claiming there are other parts that have been kept secret. The leak has raised speculations in principlist media that another amendment allegedly signed on economic issues between President Rouhani’s Chief of Staff Mohammad Nahavandian and US Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew will soon be released. The administration has denied the existence of such an agreement in a letter to Raja News and threatened litigation. Though an economic agreement seems out of the question at the moment, it could be the next propaganda tool in the hands of the principlists in the weeks to come.
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