The international community, foggy about Iran’s clandestine nuclear activities, is finally growing tired of Tehran’s refusal to let the IAEA in.
But you may have missed that development, what with all the media commotion this past week focusing exclusively on what’s being leaked – particularly the now-famous diagram leaked to the AP – instead of what Iran’s doing.
As noted in our recent blog; no one claimed this was a smoking gun. However crude and simplistic the diagram may be, it is yet another piece of evidence (however weak you may judge it to be) to be piled upon the satellite imagery, persistent lack of Iranian cooperation with the IAEA (see recent blog post) and indeed the UN organizations subsequently damming reports on Iran’s opaque nuclear program.
George Jahn, who originally released the leaked source, follows up a barrage of criticism by highlighting that:
“A senior diplomat familiar with the probe of Iran by the IAEA told the AP on Friday that the agency suspects that Iranian scientists calculating a nuclear yield intentionally simplified the diagram to make it comprehensible to Iranian government officials to whom they were presenting it. He said that when the right data are plugged in, the yield is indeed 50 kilotons.”
The American-Iranian Council, the known ‘beacon of neutrality’ (note sarcasm) on the Iranian nuclear program immediately looks for a simple explanation and blames Israel (the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald unsurprisingly jumped to the same conclusions): “That Associated Press story displaying a graph alleged to be part of an Iranian computer simulation of a nuclear explosion — likely leaked by Israel…”
Well actually, Jahn continues…
“The diplomat, who is considered neutral on Iran’s nuclear program, spoke only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to divulge intelligence.”
And he was not alone…
“He and a second diplomat said other classified material held by the IAEA supports concerns that the graph may be part of a past Iranian effort at developing nuclear weapons. The second diplomat comes from a country suspicious of Iran’s nuclear intentions but not from the nation that shared the diagram with the AP.”
Neither is this an anomalous jigsaw piece:
“The drawing seen by the AP is not the only diagram obtained by the IAEA that raised agency suspicion. The U.N. agency reported on Nov. 8, 2011, that it had obtained diagrams it suspects shows Iran doing studies in nuclear yields, adding: “The application of such studies to anything other than a nuclear explosive is unclear to the agency.” And the senior diplomat on Tuesday confirmed that the graph seen by the AP was indeed one of those cited by the IAEA.”
At a glance, it is merely a graph, a diagram; and certainly no smoking gun. If we are going to continue with the metaphors and idioms, it is not even the straw the breaks the camel’s back. But reading between the lines, and seeing this diagram (and the others the IAEA claims to have) in the context of continuous Iranian deception regarding just about everything related to their nuclear program; all of a sudden it is no longer just a diagram.