Iran is definitely not cooperating on the nuclear issue. Reuters:
An IAEA report obtained by Reuters showed that little substantive headway had so far been made in the U.N. agency’s long-running investigation into what it calls the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme.The Islamic Republic has implemented just three of five nuclear transparency steps that it was supposed to by Aug. 25 under a confidence-building deal it reached with the IAEA in November, according to the quarterly report.Crucially, it has not provided information on the two issues that are part of the IAEA’s investigation: alleged experiments on explosives that could be used for an atomic device, and studies related to calculating nuclear explosive yields.The report said Iran, where a president seen as pragmatic took office in 2013 and revived diplomacy with the West, told the IAEA last week that most suspicions over its programme were “mere allegations and do not merit consideration”.A Vienna-based diplomat called that statement “worrying”.The IAEA had also observed via satellite imagery “ongoing construction activity” at Iran’s Parchin military base, the report said. Western officials believe Iran once conducted explosive tests there of relevance in developing a nuclear weapon and has sought to “cleanse” it of evidence since then. Iran has long denied U.N. nuclear inspectors access to the base.
Worrying indeed.There is no way the U.S. Congress will accept any kind of nuclear deal with Iran before this case is closed. Failure to comply with its own agreement to resolve these issues suggests either that whoever has the final say in Iran’s complicated and bitter internal wrangling over this issue doesn’t think reaching a comprehensive agreement in November is either practical or desirable. The mixed signals from Iran—continuing to reduce its reported uranium stockpile while blowing off the IAEA—suggest that the authorities want another extension of the temporary agreement, presumably with some more sanctions relief.
There are lots of reasons why this makes sense from Iran’s point of view. With the U.S. obviously floundering in the face of ISIS, Iran may feel it has little to fear from stepped up U.S. pressure and that, as time passes, Americans will come to what Iranians would regard as their senses and realize that an alliance with Iran is the only hope to stabilize the Middle East.