Can the Iran nuclear deal survive as the IAEA investigates Israeli allegations?

Emma Scott, Research Assistant (emma.l.scott@kcl.ac.uk)

Ian J. Stewart, Project Alpha Director (ian.j.stewart@kcl.ac.uk)

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Can the Iran nuclear deal survive as the IAEA investigates Israeli allegations?

Since last spring when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his country had seized secret Iranian nuclear files, from an undisclosed warehouse in early 2018, Israeli and US officials have pushed for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to take action. News emerged in early April that it had done so.

Officials in Israel and to some extent the United States maintain that holding such an archive violates the Iranian nuclear deal of 2015. To date the agency hasn’t publicly commented on the material, but it is known that Israel has shared some or all of it with officials there.

In order for the IAEA to develop a so-called “broader conclusion” that all nuclear material in Iran remains in peaceful activities, officials are investigating Israel’s materials and conducting the necessary site visits. Given the skepticism with which many view the nature of Iran’s nuclear objectives, it looks increasingly untenable that the IAEA could reach a broader conclusion seen as credible by all. This has profound implications for the future of the nuclear accord with Iran.