July 2012

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency has said publicly, for the first time, that the agency suspects Iran has been cleaning away traces of a 2003 nuclear weapons test ahead of possible inspections of a military facility.

The latest set of talks about the suspected Iranian nuclear weapons programme has failed again, with hopes to resume in July. The Center for a New American Security says that preventive military action should remain on the table, but should be considered only if Iran “has made a clear move toward weaponization“, and there is a “reasonable expectation” that such a strike would set back Iran’s program “significantly“.

Contacts have now been downgraded to the level of nuclear experts from each country and bureaucrats from Brussels and Tehran. But it is not clear how technical discussions can solve the huge political differences.