Secret Document Reveals that Iranian Nuclear Weapons Work Will Not Be Accounted For

Daily TIP (The Israel Project)

July 27, 2015

According to a secret document accessed by The Wall Street Journal, Iran will not be required to disclose the possible military dimensions (PMDs) of its nuclear program, undermining the verification regime.  The secret document stands in contrast to the administration’s previous positions. Last Thursday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated that Iran will not receive sanctions relief “until they have complied with the IAEA’s request for access and information to determine the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.” During an interview on PBS in April, when asked whether the US will accept Iran’s refusal to disclose its PMDs, Secretary of State John Kerry responded, “They have to do it… If there’s going to be a deal; it will be done.”The US position began to shift in June when Kerry said “we’re not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they [Iran] did at one point in time or another… We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in.” Experts disputed Kerry’s claim. The former Director of the CIA, General Michael Hayden, argues, “We, of course, do not have total knowledge of how much progress the Iranians had made… I know of no American intelligence officer who would claim that we have ‘absolute knowledge’ of the Iranian weaponization program.” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence similarly stated, “We clearly don’t have the picture that we need of Iran’s capabilities.”

Lack of knowledge of Iran’s PMDs will undermine the IAEA’s ability to design an effective verification system, calculate Iran’s breakout time, and ensure that activities related to the development of nuclear weapons have ceased. The president of the Institute for Science and International Security, David Albright, has warned that “ambiguity over Iran’s nuclear weaponization accomplishments and residual capabilities risks rendering an agreement unverifiable by the IAEA.” He also noted that there is no explicit requirement in the deal that Iran cooperate with the IAEA and reveal its PMDs in order to receive sanctions relief.

Lawmakers are frustrated by the administration’s dismissal of the importance of PMDs and some have concluded that Iran will never have to reveal its past efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Last month, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) said he was concerned about the Secretary’s remarks and believes that disclosure “has been a fundamental question to which we need — not just want — a full and verifiable answer.”