Fact: The IAEA has never determined that Iran is building nuclear weapons.
In November 2011, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report detailing its concerns about “possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.” The report supports American intelligence estimates that Iran did have an active nuclear weapons program that was halted in 2003 and has not been restarted.
- Senior White House official: “‘The IAEA does not assert that Iran has resumed a full scale nuclear weapons program’ a senior administration official told reporters on a conference call.” – (White House: IAEA Report Doesn’t Change Assessment of Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions, National Journal; November 8, 2011)
The IAEA, using American and other Agency Member State intelligence sources, reported that it suspects some activities—particularly warhead design verification—may still be ongoing, but not under a structured program. However, while there was more detailed information revealed, the findings of the report were not new.
- Arms Control Association: “The broad outline in the IAEA’s latest report on the military dimensions of Iran’s program is not new, but rather, provides greater detail regarding weapons-related activities outlined in previous public reports. (The IAEA’s Iran Report: Assessment and Implications, Arms Control Association; November 8, 2011)
This underscores what could be considered a nuclear hedging strategy, not an active effort to build a nuclear arsenal.
- Arms Control Association: “The report suggests that Iran is working to shorten the timeframe to building the bomb once and if it makes that decision. But it remains apparent that a nuclear-armed Iran is still not imminent nor is it inevitable.” (The IAEA’s Iran Report: Assessment and Implications, Arms Control Association; November 8, 2011)