In his Jan. 7 op-ed “At Voice of America, Complaints About Its Iranian Coverage,” Sohrab Ahmari quotes an Iranian blogger who called my statements in a VOA interview on Iranian nuclear program “sophistry.” I said that there is no diversion of Iran’s nuclear program toward weaponization and that Iran complies with the Safeguard Agreement (SA) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Since 2003, after more than 4,000 man-day inspections, the IAEA has frequently declared the nondiversion. Not only the IAEA, but also the world powers confirm the “nondiversion” of the Iranian nuclear program toward a bomb. The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate’s assessment in 2007 and 2011 concluded that Iran does not have an active nuclear-weapons program; there is no conclusive evidence that Iran has made any effort to build a nuclear bomb since 2003; and that the Iranian leadership has not yet made a political decision to build an actual weapon.
Iran does not possess any type of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and has signed all major international treaties repudiating the possession of weapons of mass destruction including biological, chemical and nuclear.
It is important to note that the disputes between the IAEA and Iran are centered on inspections beyond the framework of the SA, namely for Iran to accept the Additional Protocol (AP), a protocol that over 70 countries have not accepted, and to address the issues related to possible military dimensions (PMDs) which requires inspections beyond the realm of even the AP.
Nevertheless, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi recently indicated Tehran’s readiness to cooperate on these demands. In return, Iran expects recognition of its legitimate right to enrichment under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the lifting of sanctions.