- Head of IAEA: Nuclear deal reduced IAEA’s public reporting requirements of Iran’s nuclear activities
On Wednesday, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated that the nuclear deal with Iran has limited the types of Iranian nuclear activities on which the IAEA is required to publicly report. When asked why the IAEA is “not giving enough details for the international community to follow the process and review” of Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, the Director General of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano, explained that the basis for reporting changed under UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2231 and the December IAEA Board of Governors resolution. UNSC Resolution 2231 authorized the nuclear deal with Iran and replaced previous UN Security Council resolutions on Iran. Amano asserted, “as the basis is different, the consequences are different.”
The journalist’s question was prompted by several analyses by nuclear experts who observed that the IAEA was publicly reporting on fewer aspects about Iran’s nuclear program than previous reports, and that the IAEA’s first report on Iran’s compliance with UNSC Resolution 2231 provides insufficient information on Iranian nuclear activities that are pertinent to effective verification and monitoring. Aspects not covered in the report include the exact amount and forms of Iran’s 3.67% enriched uranium; the amount of near 20% low-enriched uranium Iran currently possesses (the nuclear deal mandates that Iran have none); the numbers and types of centrifuge rotors and bellows which are essential to calculating Iran’s breakout time; and whether Iran has given the IAEA appropriate access to certain sites under the Additional Protocol (AP).
The administration has repeatedly argued that the nuclear deal is based on transparency and verification. However, regarding the IAEA’s latest report, Olli Heinonen, a former Deputy Director at the IAEA, remarked that “less-detailed reporting, after all, fails to provide the transparency required for the JCPOA’s verification.” President of the Institute for Science and International Security and former weapons inspector David Albright, along with his colleagues Serena Kelleher-Vergantini and Andrea Stricker, asserted that by failing to provide the public with information that is key to judging Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal, the IAEA “risks undermining public transparency and confidence in the agreement.”
Osama bin Laden ordered his al-Qaeda deputies not to attack Iran, which he called a “main artery” for his terror organization’s operations, recently-disclosed documents from his Pakistan compound reveal. The order was part of a collection of 112 letters taken from bin Laden’s compound by U.S. special ops forces after he was killed in 2011. The collection was made public Tuesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.In a 2007 letter, bin Laden criticized an operative for threatening to attack Iran. “We expect you would consult with us for these important matters, for as you are aware, Iran is our main artery for funds, personnel, and communication, as well as the matter of hostages,” he wrote. Ties between Iran and al Qaeda have been reported for years, with numerous ways by which Iran served as al-Qaeda’s “main artery.”The Weekly Standard reported in 2012 on the trial of an al-Qaeda terrorist who had been caught while planning terror attacks in several European cities. The plans were inspired by the November 2008 terror attacks and siege in Mumbai, which had been ordered by bin Laden.
In testimony before the court, [Ahmad Wali] Siddiqui described how he and his co-conspirators planned different travel routes in order to avoid suspicion beginning in early 2009. But their travels had a common theme: Iran was their principal gateway to jihad.
According to Siddiqui, two of his co-conspirators—Rami Makanesi and Naamen Meziche—traveled from Vienna to Tehran in order “to not get caught.” Their trip was booked in a Hamburg travel office by an unknown Iranian. Siddiqui explained that the pair could not travel directly to Pakistan because they are Arabs. Pakistani authorities would have questioned the duo’s intentions and perhaps detained them, but by traveling through Iran they avoided such scrutiny.
Although [ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani] didn’t explicitly state that al Qaeda had a deal with Iran “to safeguard its interests and supply lines,” the U.S. government has said it has evidence of such an agreement. The U.S. Treasury Department noted in the July 2011 designation of six al Qaeda operatives who were based in Iran that the Iranian government had a “secret deal with al Qaeda allowing it to funnel funds and operatives through its territory.”
That same designation declared that Iran is “a critical transit point for funding to support al Qaeda’s activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“By exposing Iran’s secret deal with Al Qaeda allowing it to funnel funds and operatives through its territory, we are illuminating yet another aspect of Iran’s unmatched support for terrorism,” Treasury under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence David S. Cohen said when the Treasury made its 2011 announcement.
Other government and news sources have also reported on ties between Iran and al-Qaeda. The Canadian government announced in 2013 that two suspects in a plot to attack a passenger train had been supported by members of al-Qaeda who were based in Iran. An spokesman for ISIS, an offshoot of al-Qaeda, said in 2014 that al-Qaeda did not target Iran so that it could leave its network inside Iran intact. The pan-Arab newspaper a-Sharq al-Awsat reported in February of last year that Saleh al-Qarawi, a senior member of al-Qaeda who operates in Iran, had been targeting American interests in the Gulf since 2007. (via TheTower.org)