Jeffrey LewisIran Honked Off Over TC Denial

So, like, I have a little rhetorical advice for Ali Asghar Soltanieh (pictured at left).

The IAEA has refused your country’s request for technical cooperation—the TC of the title—to improve safety at the IR-40 heavy water reactor under construction near Arak.

I understand that you’re angry and, more importantly, that as Iran’s representative to the IAEA, you have to make a statement condemning the decision.

By all means, in your remarks, feel free to describe the would-be bomb factory as a mere replacement for the aging Tehran Research Reactor, protest that Iran intends to use the IR-40 for peaceful purposes like making radioisotopes, and blame the choice of heavy water on the international community for refusing to sell your beloved Islamic Republic a light-water reactor.

Shoot, go ahead and stretch the truth a little further about how transparent you’ve been in keeping the IAEA informed about the reactor. It’s okay, I understand. You have a job to do.

But do not, repeat not, under any circumstances, suggest that because Israel used it’s HWR to make nuclear weapons, that you should have one, too:

If any one hesitate such assessment could refer to proposed projects for Israel. It is shameful that those few countries that publicly declare to be strong proponents of the NPT and its universality, such as Canada and Australia, do not even dare to touch upon this issue and raise concerns on provision of technical assistance and cooperation to a non-parties of the NPT which has long dark record of violation of all resolutions of the IAEA as well as the United Nations Security Council and categorically rejects the NPT and Agency’s Safeguards. It has nuclear facilities such as heavy water reactor given by European and US.

Because, see, that’s why we don’t want Iran to have a heavy water reactor—because, as I blogged yesterday, countries like Israel, as well as Pakistan and India, have all used theirs as plutonium bomb factories.

Just a little advice.

Full text from Mehr, among others.


  1. John Smith

    Yes, he is the business – talking about a “long dark record of violation of all resolutions of the IAEA as well as the United Nations Security Council”. Coming from a representative of a country which has been in breach of a Chapter 7 resolution for close to 3 months, this is rather intiguing. This is why I think that the only option left is to wage war against Iran. They are not going to give up of their own accord and the UN is not going to impose severe sanctions.

  2. Stephen (History)

    I’m surprised, does the IAEA provide TC to non-NPT signatories?

    If so, what’s the policy rationale behind that? I’d have thought that the message should be that a country only gets access to IAEA expertise only after its signed on the dotted line.

  3. SQ


    There is a distinction between IAEA member states and NPT member states. The IAEA is much older than the NPT. India, Israel, and Pakistan are all founding members. See:

  4. hass (History)

    “would-be bomb factory”? It best, running full-bore, the Arak reactor can make 2 bombs per year. Not exactly a “factory” is it. Give me a break.

  5. Jeffrey Lewis

    8-10 kilograms or plutonium or about two bombs worth.

    That is the same size as the initial Israeli, Pakistani, Indian and North Korean “bomb factories.”

  6. hass (History)

    Israeli, Pakistani, Indian and North Korean “bomb factories” were not under the intensive gaze of the IAEA as Iran’s is.

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