UN atomic agency closes Iran nuclear investigation

The action means that some allegations about the weapons project may never be answered.  

The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors voted Tuesday to close its decade-long investigation into Iran's suspected program to design a nuclear weapon . The action means that some allegations about the weapons project may never be answered. 

In a report produced earlier this month, the IAEA strongly suggested Iran engaged in coordinated activities aimed at developing a nuclear bomb up until 2003, though it found no credible sign of weapons-related work beyond 2009. Agency head Yukiya Amano told the board that his investigation couldn't "reconstruct all the details of activities conducted by Iran in the past."

Despite the finding that Iran was pursuing atomic bomb capability -- even though it denies that accusation -- the decision will allow implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, including the release of about $100 billion in frozen funds and an end to oil and financial sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy. 

The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, said in a statement that "Iran's cooperation was certainly not sufficient to close the overall PMD file." Secretary of State John Kerry said that the resolution allows the atomic energy agency "to turn its focus now to the full implementation and verification" of the new deal, "which prohibits the resumption of such nuclear weapons-related activities and provides comprehensive tools for deterring and detecting any renewed nuclear weapons work."

In related news, a UN panel of experts published a report claiming that Iran violated a UN Security Council resolution by test-firing a ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, the third such violation by the Islamic Republic. 



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