WaPo reports,

Iran manufactured small amounts of enriched uranium and plutonium as part of a clandestine nuclear program that operated in secret for 18 years, according to a confidential United Nations report. The report harshly criticizes Iran for deliberately hiding evidence of its nuclear program from international inspectors and committing numerous “breaches” in its nuclear treaty obligations.

The 29-page report by the International Atomic Energy Agency said so far there is “no evidence” that Iran had sought to build a nuclear weapon, as asserted by the Bush administration, but the U.N. nuclear watchdog said it would keep investigating this claim. Given Iran’s “past pattern of concealment, it will take some time before the agency is able to conclude that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes,” the report said.

Indeed, the report’s catalog of Iran’s nuclear activities shows that the Islamic Republic had made significant strides in a nuclear program that was barely understood by the outside world until last year. The report, obtained by The Washington Post, documents numerous occasions when Iranian officials altered or reversed their explanations when challenged by investigators or contradictory evidence.

“Iran has now acknowledged that it has been developing, for 18 years a uranium centrifuge program, and, for 12 years, a laser enrichment program,” the report said, referring to two of the leading technologies for making fissile material for nuclear power plants or weapons. “In that context Iran has admitted that it produced small amounts of LEU [low-enriched uranium], using both centrifuge and laser enrichment processes… and a small amount of plutonium.”

Interesting. So, out of three members of the Axis of Evil, we’ve got one who probably has nukes, one making good progress, and one currently under American occupation.

FILED UNDER: Middle East, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Paul says:

    Axis? What Axis???

    Those countries did nothing wrong until Bush called them names you know…


    Sorry, I had not seen JC in a while so figured I’d cover for him.