Iran In Brief

Archive: August 2012

Iran’s heading of the Non-Aligned Movement: Lead up to more confrontation?

August 29, 2012

By Andrew Ortendahl and Andrea Stricker

Iran recently took over leadership of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), a 120-nation consortium of developing countries, for a period of three years.  Iran is now hosting the group’s 16th Summit in Tehran where member states are gathered to discuss issues of mutual importance.  However, it is disappointing given Iran’s intransigence… Read More ›

Support the Reformist Call for a National Referendum over Iran’s Nuclear Program:

August 20, 2012

An Economically Misguided Nuclear Program is Not Worth the Suffering

By Lyle Bacaltos and Andrea Stricker


On July 10, 2012 Abdollah Nouri, an Iranian reformist politician and cleric, proposed that Iran hold a national referendum that would give the Iranian people the power to decide the future of Iran’s nuclear program. 1 He argued that recent economic… Read More ›

Potential Change in Iran’s Nuclear Fatwa?

August 2, 2012

By Lyle Bacaltos

An official Iranian statement released on August 9, 2005 at a meeting with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) claimed that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa forbidding the production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons. Recent news reports have raised the question whether the fatwa has changed. Based on research on news stories and commentary… Read More ›

Archive: May 2012

The Physics Research Center Telexes: New ISIS Studies and Findings

May 16, 2012

ISIS is releasing four new reports based on its further assessment of a set of about 1,600 telexes detailing the procurement activities of Iran’s Physics Research Center (PHRC) in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  The information in these telexes and evidence gathered by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) support that the PHRC managed a parallel, secret military nuclear… Read More ›

Iran Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Responds to Evidence of New Activity at Parchin Site

May 11, 2012

Iran began to provide an explanation for the activity at the Parchin site seen in the new commercial satellite image by denying that it was associated with cleansing activities for removing nuclear contaminants.  Iran should state what these activities were.  Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast stated that nuclear material contamination could not be… Read More ›

Archive: April 2012

Media Matters’ Faulty Report on Broadcast Media

April 19, 2012

Media Matters for America has published a misleading report on whether the broadcast news networks misrepresent intelligence on Iranian nuclear issues.  The methodology used in the report is flawed and highly biased. It is so defective that it appears designed to reach a pre-determined conclusion sought by Media Matters.

Media Matters is using a… Read More ›

Archive: January 2012

No Obama Letter to Iran?

January 20, 2012

On January 18, conservative Iranian lawmaker Ali Motahari announced and Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast confirmed that President Barack Obama had sent a letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei warning Iran against closing the Straits of Hormuz and requesting direct talks.  Mehmanparast said that Iran was considering an official response.  Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy… Read More ›

Archive: November 2011

Iran’s Ridiculous Distraction

November 18, 2011

Iran should answer the IAEA’s concerns instead of trying to prevent the public from receiving in a timely manner widely available information about its nuclear activities

In prepared statements to the Board of Governors in Vienna today, Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh criticized ISIS for posting on its website the latest report on… Read More ›

David Albright on ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour

November 14, 2011

Watch David Albright discuss Iran’s nuclear program and the next steps to resolve the crisis on the Sunday edition of ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour.

View the full episode here (starts at 28min): here

Read More ›

IAEA Release Report on Iran and Alleged Weaponization Efforts

November 8, 2011

The IAEA has released a highly anticipated safeguards report on Iran. In addition to regular inspections information on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, the report also contains the exchanges, open issues and analysis regarding the ambiguities on whether Iran is currently or has in the past done research into the weaponization of nuclear materials and their possible means of delivery.

Read More ›

Iran Nuclear Issue – Considerations for a Negotiated Outcome

November 4, 2011

John Carlson, former Director General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office, has written a paper highlighting the key considerations for a negotiated outcome regarding the Iranian nuclear issue.

Iran has been found in non-compliance with its International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards agreement, and accordingly is in non-compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).1 Iran is continuing its uranium… Read More ›

Archive: October 2011

Debunking Gregory Jones Again

October 27, 2011

by David Albright and Christina Walrond

On October 18, Gregory Jones published a response to ISIS’s September 20 critique of his study on breakout timelines at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) in Iran. Jones maintains that Iran could fabricate 20 kg of weapon-grade uranium (WGU)—enough for one nuclear weapon—in two… Read More ›

Performance of the IR-1 Centrifuge at Natanz

October 18, 2011

Although the average monthly production of 3.5 percent low enriched uranium (LEU) has increased to about 150 kg/month, the number of centrifuges needed to produce this LEU has increased disproportionately compared to the previous year. During the last year, Iran has needed 5,860 IR-1 centrifuges to produce this amount of LEU. In the previous year, it would have needed only… Read More ›

Iran’s Advanced Centrifuges

October 17, 2011

Last summer, Iran began installing two cascades of advanced centrifuges at the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP) at Natanz. As of August 28, 2011, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran had installed 136 IR-2m centrifuges in cascade 5 and 27 IR-4 centrifuges in cascade 4. Iran started feeding 54 of the 136 IR-2m centrifuges with natural uranium… Read More ›

New Satellite Imagery of Iranian Nuclear Sites on Google Earth

October 11, 2011

Over the last several months, Google Earth has posted updated commercial satellite imagery over Iran which includes several nuclear sites such as the Arak heavy water reactor and heavy water production site, the Ardakan yellowcake production plant and the Gchine uranium mine and mill.

View the full report with new images here: Read More ›

Archive: September 2011

Ahmadinejad Reiterates Willingness to Halt 20 Percent Enrichment

September 22, 2011

In a September 21 interview with The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again reiterated Iran’s willingness to halt domestic 20 percent low enriched uranium (LEU) production in return for foreign supply of the material.  He said, “If they give us the 20% enriched uranium this very week, we will cease the domestic enrichment of… Read More ›

Ahmadinejad and Abbasi-Davani at Odds on Enrichment Claims

September 14, 2011

On September 13, President Ahmadinejad stated in an interview with The Washington Post several times that if the United States gave Iran 20 percent low enriched uranium (LEU), Iran would stop making it.  He indicated, “If they start to give us that uranium today, we will stop production.” This offer contradicts a recent statement by… Read More ›

Archive: August 2011

Abbasi-Davani Interview on Iran’s 20 Percent Enrichment

August 31, 2011

In an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) published August 30, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, announced that Iran would never halt its domestic production of 20 percent enriched uranium.  Agence France Presse reported on its apparent translation of the interview and added that Abbasi-Davani said Iran is no longer interested… Read More ›

Two Recent Media Reports to Note on Iran’s Nuclear Program

August 29, 2011

Report 1:  On August 25, the Suddeutsche Zeitung reported that Iran has received from North Korea a specialized computer program which simulates with great precision whether a nuclear bomb would explode.  According to Western intelligence sources, the computer program may have been part of a larger $100 million deal with North Korea for nuclear training and know-how and… Read More ›

Iran Moving Centrifuges to Fordow

August 24, 2011

After many months of delay, Iran has finally begun moving centrifuges from the Natanz enrichment plant for installation at the fortified Fordow facility near Qom.  On August 22, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, said that some centrifuges had been transferred and the facility is being prepared under the supervision of the International Atomic… Read More ›

Iran’s Critique of May 24, 2011 IAEA Safeguards Report: Arguments Not Based on Facts

August 12, 2011

by Paul Brannan

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently circulated a communication it received from Iran regarding the IAEA’s latest safeguards report from May 24, 2011.  In the letter, Iran addresses the safeguards report and criticizes much of the content.  The arguments… Read More ›

Archive: July 2011

Iran Confirms Installation of Advanced Centrifuges

July 19, 2011

Iran’s Foreign Ministry announced on July 19, 2011 that “the installation of new centrifuges with better quality and speed is ongoing.”  The spokesperson did not specify the facility into which the centrifuges are being installed, but the announcement likely confirms the installation of two 164-machine cascades of advanced IR-2m and IR-4 centrifuges into the Pilot Fuel Fabrication… Read More ›

Iran Reportedly Installing Advanced Centrifuges

July 15, 2011

On July 15, Reuters reported that Iran is installing advanced centrifuges—the IR-2m and IR-4—into two 164-machine cascades at a pilot plant at Natanz.  Installing and running 164-machine cascades of advanced centrifuges is an important step in the process of Iran more widely deploying these machines.  Continued integration of these advanced machines into Iran’s enrichment program will… Read More ›

Iran to IAEA: Drop Nuclear Weaponization Investigation

July 13, 2011

On July 12, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced that Iran would improve its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in return for the IAEA dropping its investigation of Iran’s nuclear weapons-related activities.  His announcement followed a meeting with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.  Not surprisingly, based on recent IAEA safeguards reports on Iran,… Read More ›

Archive: June 2011

Ahmadinejad Announcement Laying Groundwork for Official Policy of Nuclear Ambiguity?

June 23, 2011

On June 23, according to The Associated Press, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Iranian state television, “If we do want to make a bomb, we are not afraid of anybody.”  Agence France Presse quoted him as saying, “If we want to make a bomb we are not afraid of anyone and we are not afraid to announce… Read More ›

Iran Signals Continued Delay in Ratifying Nuclear Safety Pact: Is the Bushehr Power Reactor Safe?

June 22, 2011

By David Albright and Andrea Stricker

On June 21, Iran’s atomic energy chief, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, in a speech to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conference on nuclear safety in Vienna, held to review safety standards in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, indicated that Iran is in no hurry to join the international Convention on Nuclear… Read More ›

UN Report Cites 2 Unreported Long-Range Iranian Missile Launches

June 17, 2011

The United Nations Panel of Experts report on Iran contains information about two previously unreported missile tests by Iran of long-range (approximately 2,000 km) ballistic Sejil/Ashura and Sejil-1 or -2 missiles.  The panel does not state that the launches were successful or why the launches were not publicly reported.  These launches suggest that the public may be getting only… Read More ›

IRGC Article Discusses “Day after Iran’s First Nuclear Test”

June 8, 2011

ISIS would like to draw your attention to an interesting new blog post by The Guardian’s Julian Borger which includes a translated text of a strange article posted April 24 on the Gerdab website, which is run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).  The article describes (in prose form) “the day after Iran’s first nuclear test,” which it… Read More ›

IAEA Worried about Ongoing Military Nuclear Work in Iran

June 8, 2011

By David Albright, Paul Brannan, and Andrea Stricker

On June 6, Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a speech to the IAEA Board of Governors that the agency had received “further information related to possible past or current undisclosed nuclear-related activities that seem to point to the existence of possible military… Read More ›

Moving 20 Percent Enrichment to Fordow:  Slow Motion Breakout Continues?

June 8, 2011

By David Albright, Paul Brannan, and Andrea Stricker

On June 8, Iran’s vice president and head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Fereydoun Abbasi, announced that Iran would install 164-machine cascades of advanced centrifuges at the previously hidden Fordow enrichment plant and triple its enrichment output of 19.75 percent low enriched uranium… Read More ›

Time for Iran to Come Clean and Cooperate With the IAEA

June 7, 2011

By David Albright and Paul Brannan

The latest safeguards report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) highlights again the issue of potential nuclear weapons work in Iran.  In addition to providing more detail on the type of weapons work contained in the information that the IAEA has received, it also repeats a statement from a September 2010… Read More ›

The Iranian Power Struggle and its Implications for the Nuclear Crisis

June 2, 2011

Much has been made in the media about the power struggle between Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—with the backing of the Iranian parliament (Majles)—and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  The struggle may make less likely the prospect that Iran will be able (if it is indeed willing at all) to negotiate a diplomatic deal over the nuclear crisis in the near… Read More ›

Archive: May 2011

Nuclear Highlights from the Report of U.N. Security Council Panel of Experts on Iran

May 23, 2011

The United Nations Security Council Panel of Experts on Iran recently submitted a report on Iran’s compliance with Security Council resolutions.  Russia has so far blocked on procedural grounds the adoption of the Panel of Experts report by the Security Council.  The report should be adopted without further delay and made available to the general… Read More ›

A Good Defense, but What’s the Impact on Future State-Sponsored Cyber Attacks?

May 20, 2011

On May 16, the White House released a new global cyber security strategy, asserting that achieving adequate cyber security is intertwined with safeguarding national security.  The policy initiative stresses international collaboration and cooperation between governments and international businesses and seeks to dispel opinion that the United States might seek to “dominate” cyber network security.

This… Read More ›

Archive: April 2011

ISIS Resources on the Stuxnet Worm

April 15, 2011

ISIS has been closely following and reporting on the Stuxnet computer malware that attacked Iran’s nuclear program, identifying the Natanz enrichment facility as the most likely target, assessing the damage to Natanz, and understanding the pathway of Stuxnet to Natanz. 

ISIS issued on February 15, 2011 an update to its December 22, 2010 ISIS Report on Stuxnet.  The February… Read More ›

Yadegari Appeal Denied by Canadian Court

April 14, 2011

On April 12, the Ontario Court of Appeal denied the appeal of Mahmoud Yadegari, who was convicted in July 2010 of illegally attempting to export nuclear dual-use pressure transducers obtained in the United States from Canada to Iran via transshipment in Dubai.  Pressure transducers can be used to measure the gas pressure of uranium hexafluoride inside centrifuge cascades and are… Read More ›

Archive: January 2011

Iran’s Nuclear Setbacks: A key for U.S. diplomacy

January 20, 2011

by David Albright and Andrea Stricker

Iran’s nuclear program is suffering mounting setbacks, which in turn will provide more time for diplomacy and reduce the imminence of military strikes.  The problems fall into three broad categories :

  • increased difficulty of obtaining essential parts on the international market,

  • trouble operating large numbers of centrifuges,

  • and apparent covert actions by foreign intelligence… Read More ›

    Archive: November 2010

    Stuxnet Worm Targets Automated Systems for Frequency Converters: Are Iranian Centrifuges the Target?

    November 17, 2010

    On Friday, November 12, 2010, the Symantec Corporation posted an update of its analysis of the Stuxnet worm and narrowed the target to automated systems that control frequency converters manufactured by two firms: Fararo Paya in Tehran, Iran, and Vacon in Finland.  It concludes that frequency converters in Iran’s gas centrifuge plants could be the target… Read More ›

    Archive: October 2010

    Probable Steady Production Rate of 20 Percent Enriched Uranium in Iran

    October 21, 2010

    On October 20, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, announced that Iran had produced “almost” 30 kilograms (kg) of 19.75 percent enriched uranium hexafluoride.  This is up from 22 kg produced as of August 20, 2010, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Read More ›

    Release of Comprehensive Book on Iran, Including History of Nuclear Program

    October 20, 2010 would like to highlight the release of a new book published jointly by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the United States Institute of Peace and edited by Robin Wright, entitled “The Iran Primer: Power, Politics, and U.S. Policy.”  The book is now available for reading online at:

    ISIS’s David Albright and Andrea… Read More ›

    Chinese Firms Continue to Evade Iran Sanctions

    October 19, 2010

    The Washington Post’s John Pomfret reported on October 18 that Chinese firms continue to evade Iran sanctions to supply its nuclear, missile, and military programs with needed dual-use goods.  Pomfret reports that State Department Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control Robert J. Einhorn visited China last month to hand deliver a list containing evidence of cases involving… Read More ›

    Comprehensive Piece on Iranian Military Equipment Smuggler and U.S. Sting Operation

    October 5, 2010 would like to highlight a comprehensive investigative report, including exclusive interviews, video, and photographs, by John Shiffman of The Philadelphia Enquirer, which details the U.S. sting operation, arrest, detainment, and sentencing of Amir Hossein Ardebili.  Ardebili was a “prolific” military parts smuggler who worked in Iran to supply the Iranian military with needed dual-use goods.  U.S.… Read More ›

    Archive: September 2010

    P5+1 Seeks Renewed Negotiations, Fuel Swap Talks under its Auspices

    September 22, 2010

    According to a statement to be released today by foreign ministers of the P5+1 (comprising the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia, and Germany), the six countries will announce their hope for reaching “an early negotiated solution” with Iran over its nuclear program, and that they are “ready to engage” on this issue as well as the stalled… Read More ›

    Tensions Rise over Iran and Syria at IAEA Board of Governors Meeting, Ahead of U.N. Meet

    September 17, 2010

    At the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting this week, several Western countries (and IAEA Director General Amano) called on Iran to stop preventing the IAEA from doing its job by limiting information and access by qualified inspectors.  Western countries also called for IAEA access to Syria’s suspected… Read More ›

    Iran’s Government Split over Impact of Sanctions

    September 15, 2010

    Former Iranian president and head of the Assembly of Experts, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, yesterday lambasted the government for failing to take seriously the impact of international sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program.  The prominent cleric stated, “Gentlemen, you should be vigilant and careful.  Do not downplay the sanctions…people should not be tricked.”  In an acknowledgement of the effectiveness of… Read More ›

    Amano Censures Iran over Lack of Cooperation with IAEA

    September 14, 2010

    At yesterday’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano took the opportunity to condemn Iran for its growing battle with the Agency over inspections.  Amano highlighted Iran’s recent move to ban two IAEA inspectors with a long history of inspecting Iran’s nuclear installations, as reported in the Read More ›

    ISIS Analysis of New Covert Uranium Enrichment Plant Construction Claims

    September 9, 2010

    The Iran Policy Committee (IPC) today presented evidence from the National Council for the Resistance of Iran (NCRI) that claims to show that Iran is building another covert gas centrifuge uranium enrichment site near Qazvin, west of Tehran.  IPC showed satellite imagery of tunnels and claimed that sources inside Iran told them these were tunnels to access underground facilities intended… Read More ›

    Salehi Claims 3.8 kg Monthly Production Rate of 19.75 % Enriched Uranium – but is it accurate?

    September 1, 2010

    On August 27, 2010, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) and Vice President of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, said that the country had produced 25 kilograms of 19.75 percent enriched uranium at Natanz since it began enriching uranium up to this level in February 2010.  The implied rate of 19.75% uranium production is consistent… Read More ›

    Archive: August 2010

    Technical Note: Iran Recycles the Tails in the Production of 19.75 Percent Uranium

    August 6, 2010

    ISIS has learned that Iran is now using the second cascade at the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP) at Natanz to recycle the tails from the first cascade that produces 19.75 percent enriched uranium from 3.5 percent low enriched uranium (LEU).  The purpose is not to increase the output of 19.75 percent material but to maximize the use of the… Read More ›

    Archive: July 2010

    Pressure Building on Iran (Corrected Version)

    July 29, 2010

    In recent weeks, Iran has been faced with a new round of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions, unilateral United States, European Union, Canadian, and Australian sanctions, and a resulting decreased ability to import gasoline, industrial, and consumer goods due to… Read More ›

    Has Iran initiated a slow motion breakout to a nuclear weapon?

    July 12, 2010

    by David Albright, Paul Brannan, and Andrea Stricker

    Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, announced today that Iran intends on producing 120 kilograms of 19.75 percent uranium by September 2011, purportedly for use in the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR).  Salehi also announced that Iran is working on producing fuel plates.  This… Read More ›

    Salehi Says Sanctions May Slow Iran’s Nuclear Program; Lacks Measuring Equipment

    July 7, 2010

    In a somewhat surprising detour from the official line, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, said today that United Nations sanctions could slow Iran’s nuclear program, and in particular, the enrichment program. 

    Archive: June 2010

    UAE Cracks Down on Iran’s Illicit Trade

    June 25, 2010

    On June 21, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) newspaper, Gulf News Daily, quoted an anonymous government official as saying the UAE had closed down some 40 local and international companies associated with illicit trade to Iran over the past two years.  The official said that these companies traded in “dual-use and dangerous materials banned under UN resolutions… Read More ›

    Iran’s Lack of Experience in Making TRR Fuel Elements Leaves Room for LEU Fuel Swap

    June 24, 2010

    The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi, announced yesterday that Iran had produced 17 kg of 19.75 percent enriched uranium at Natanz.  He said that the fuel will be used to operate the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR).  Iran’s inexperience in making fuel elements for the TRR raises questions about its claims… Read More ›

    Salehi Claims Iran Has 17kg of 19.75% Enriched Uranium

    June 23, 2010

    Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, announced that Iran has produced 17 kilograms (kg) of 19.75 percent enriched uranium at Natanz.  Based on the May 31 IAEA Safeguards Report, ISIS… Read More ›

    New Der Spiegel Article on Iran’s Nuclear Program

    June 21, 2010

    Erich Follath and Holger Stark of Der Spiegel Magazine have published an excellent, comprehensive articleon the history of Iran’s nuclear program.  The article discusses an important advocate of Iranian nuclear weapons, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, described as the “Robert Oppenheimer of Iran.”  It reveals new information regarding intercepted Iranian documents involving Fakhrizadeh in 2003 where he and other scientists… Read More ›

    Iran’s Reactor Claims:  A Pretext for More 20 Percent Enriched Uranium?

    June 18, 2010

    Iran’s announcement this week that it wants to build four new nuclear research reactors should be viewed skeptically.  Such announcements can shroud other intentions, in this case an attempt by Iran to lay the basis for continued or even increased enrichment of 20 percent enriched uranium at the Natanz centrifuge plant.

    Archive: May 2010

    Latest IAEA Report on Iran

    May 31, 2010

    The IAEA has released its latest safeguards implementation report on Iran’s nuclear program.
    ISIS will provide an analysis of the IAEA report later on today.

    IAEA Report: Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran

    Read More ›

    Was Kakavand’s Acquittal Part of a Quid Pro Quo with Iran?

    May 19, 2010

    On May 7, a French appeals court denied a U.S. extradition request and acquitted of smuggling charges thirty-seven-year-old Iranian engineer Majid Kakavand.  On May 17, the French Interior Ministry demanded the expulsion of an Iranian serving a life sentence on murder charges, and on May 18 a French court granted his parole.  One day earlier,… Read More ›

    UNSC Draft Resolution on Iran

    May 19, 2010

    ISIS has obtained a copy of the UNSC draft resolution on Iran circulated at the May 18 meeting.

    What’s noteworthy in the resolution?  The text circulated by the United States at yesterday’s informal Security Council meeting is strong given its support from the entire Perm-5.  Among the provisions that are new for an Iran sanctions resolution are the right to… Read More ›

    A deal for the LEU?

    May 17, 2010

    The news that Turkey and Brazil were successful in brokering a deal to send 1200 kg of Iran’s LEU stockpile is probably taking Washington by surprise (when ISIS staff spoke with DC officials recently, there was not a great deal of optimism that they would be successful).  One question now is whether 1200… Read More ›

    U.S. Extradition Request Denied in France for Alleged Iranian Military Parts Smuggler

    May 12, 2010

    On May 7, 2010, a French appeals court returned a decision to deny a U.S. extradition request to try alleged smuggler Majid Kakavand, 37, in a U.S. court for allegedly exporting more than $1 million in military dual-use electronic components to Iran.  The U.S. Department of Justice expressed its disappointment with the verdict.  It believes the evidence and… Read More ›

    Archive: April 2010

    Iran’s new centrifuge:  What do we know about it?

    April 13, 2010

    As expected on Iran’s annual Nuclear Day, President Ahmadinejad had a headline-grabbing announcement.  This time that it was launching a “third generation” centrifuge which is reportedly a significant improvement on its current IR-1 centrifuge. ISIS examines the potential capabilities of this new design in its report here.

    Read More ›

    Archive: March 2010

    Iran moves LEU tank back underground into the main Natanz facility

    March 1, 2010

    Reuters is reporting that Iran has moved the LEU tank, previously brought to the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP) in Natanz, back to its original underground location in main Natanz Feul Enrichment Facility. It is still unknown how much of the close to 2000kg of the LEU was used in the PFEP for further enrichment to… Read More ›

    Archive: February 2010

    February 18, 2010 IAEA Safeguards Report on Iran Released

    February 18, 2010

    The IAEA has released the latest Safeguards Report on Iran’s nuclear program. ISIS will be issuing an analysis of the new data in the IAEA report later on today.
    You can find the full text of this and all other IAEA reports in our Documents section. 

    Read More ›

    France, Russia and United States write to Amano on Iran

    February 16, 2010

    Politico has posted the text of a letter signed by the ambassadors of France, Russia and the United States to the IAEA in Vienna expressing regret about Iran’s decision to begin enrichment to 20 percent and reiterating support for the LEU swap arrangement proposed by the IAEA in October.  Russia’s signature indicates more stiffening… Read More ›

    Busting the Members at the Core of Iran’s Smuggling Networks

    February 16, 2010

    ISIS has released four case studies detailing incidents of illicit trade by Iran as well as a summary piece on the efforts by the United States to arrest Iranians at the core of the Iranian regime’s smuggling efforts. The case involving Majid Kakavand is particularly timely. The U.S. is currently trying to extradite Kakavand from France. The judge has stated… Read More ›

    Iran’s enrichment for the Tehran Research Reactor:  Update

    February 9, 2010

    Today Reuters and the Washington Post reported that Iran has announced that it has began enrichment of LEU to 19.75% in order to produce fuel for the Tehran research reactor. The enrichment is taking place at the Natanz pilot plant with a single cascade of 164 centrifuges.
    ISIS takes a look at the technical aspects of process and… Read More ›

    Iran’s recent statements about production of fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor:  A quick review

    February 8, 2010

    Iranian President Ahmadinejad recently stated that he had instructed the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to prepare for the production of 19.75% enriched uranium in order to produce fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor should the IAEA brokered fuel swap deal fail to take place. Following Ahmadinejad’s statements were those of Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the AEOI, who… Read More ›

    Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

    February 2, 2010

    The report released on February 2, 2010 by the office of the Director of National Intelligence contains a new analysis of proliferation threats including North Korea and the Iranian nuclear program.

    Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community

    Read More ›

    Archive: January 2010

    Q&Answers regarding Iranian document: Outlook on special neutron-related activities for next 4 years

    January 5, 2010

    ISIS first reported on the Iranian neutron initiator documents when the Times of London broke the story on December 14, 2009. The reports were followed by intense discussions on the authenticity, nature, significance of the documents and Iran’s intentions for its nuclear program. ISIS has now released a detailed analysis on the contents of these documents.

    Read… Read More ›

    Archive: December 2009

    Iran seeking Uranium Ore from Kazakhstan

    December 30, 2009

    The AP’s George Jahn is reporting today an effort by Iran to import clandestinely 1,350 tons of purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan.  The information is contained in a brief intelligence report authored by an IAEA member state and obtained by Jahn. 

    That Iran would be seeking a new source of uranium ore is not surprising,… Read More ›

    Another resignation in Iran’s nuclear establishment

    December 18, 2009

    Last July it was reported that Iran’s longtime head of the Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, submitted his resignation following the upheaval and government crackdown associated with Iran’s June 12 elections; he was also known to be close to opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi.  Aghazadeh was succeeded by Ali Akbar Saleh.  Now comes word that… Read More ›

    Further details regarding the illicit procurement trail of Mohsen Vanaki

    December 15, 2009

    More details have emerged regarding the trail and activities of German-Iranian trader Mohsen Vanaki accused of illicitly procuring materials that could be used in the Iranian nuclear program in contradiction of export laws and U.N. imposed sanctions.
    ISIS has been following the case and constantly updating the report with new details as they emerge. One of the main… Read More ›

    New evidence of Iranian weaponization studies

    December 15, 2009

    The Times of London has provided ISIS with a series of documents that appear to be studies on the production of neutron initiators. Neutron initiators have no relevant civilian applications but are instead important components of highly enriched uranium based nuclear weapons. Adding to the level or concern caused by these documents is that fact that they are not from… Read More ›

    Further Comments Regarding the BAS Article on Fordow

    December 4, 2009

    by David Albright and Paul Brannan

    We wanted to share some thoughts on Oelrich and Barzashka’s justification for their analysis in the Fordow article released November 24 in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.  In this justification which they published on the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) web site on December 1, they assert that the best… Read More ›

    IAEA Board of Governors Resolution on Iran

    December 1, 2009

    On November 27, 2009 the Board of Governors issued a resolution urging Iran to accept the IAEA brokered deal for the exchange of Iranian LEU in place of fuel for the Tehran research reactor and, condemned Iran’s construction of the undeclared uranium enrichment facility near Qom. The resolution also urged Iran to stop construction of the Qom (otherwise known as… Read More ›

    Archive: November 2009

    Technicalities and the Fordow Enrichment Plant

    November 30, 2009

    An analysis published November 24 in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists by Ivan Oelrich and Ivanka Barzashka, “A Technical Evaluation of the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant” concludes that the Fordow enrichment facility is “neither ideal for commercial nor for military purposes.”  Oelrich and Barzashka argue that not only is the facility ill-suited for the production of reactor fuel, it is… Read More ›

    ISIS takes a look at what’s inside the latest IAEA report on Iran

    November 16, 2009

    According to the information available in the November 16, 2009 IAEA Safeguards Report on Iran the number of P1 centrifuges involved in active enrichment has declined while the efficiency has actually increased as has the total stock of LEU. Iran also increased its overall number of centrifuges even though those involved in… Read More ›

    November 16, 2009 IAEA Report on Iran

    November 16, 2009

    The IAEA has released its November 16, 2009 Safeguards report on Iran.

    ISIS will issue an analysis of the IAEA report later on today.

    You can find the full IAEA report here: November 16, 2009 IAEA Report on Iran

    Read More ›

    Using Satellite Imagery Analysis to Date the Construction of the Qom Enrichment Site

    November 5, 2009

    ISIS has obtained commercial satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe that narrows the time frame during which Iran would have begun construction of the gas centrifuge uranium enrichment plant near Qom (see figure 1). The satellite imagery indicates that Iran began construction of the enrichment facility after January 2006 but before June 2007. This time frame is consistent with a Reuters report1… Read More ›

    Archive: October 2009

    Reports and News on Iranian Illicit Procurement Efforts

    October 23, 2009

    Decision Reached on Vanaki Case: Landgericht Finds Defendant Guilty, Issues Suspended Sentence

    On September 24, the district court of Frankfurt (Landgericht) ruled against German-Iranian Mohsen Vanaki. Vanaki was accused of brokering the sale of high-speed cameras and radiation detectors for an Iranian nuclear weapons program. Vanaki worked principally with the Iranian company Kimya Pakhsh Sharg Co. Ltd. in Iran, but… Read More ›

    IAEA DG on deal with Iran

    October 21, 2009

    IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has issued a public statement about the deal to supply fuel to the Tehran Research Reactor (video below). He is hopeful that by Friday there has been full agreement by all parties.  France remains a part of the deal.

    Read More ›

    Argentinian LEU Supply and Consumption by the Tehran Research Reactor

    October 7, 2009

    In the 1980s Iran purchased from Argentina 116 kg of LEU which it used to fuel its Tehran Research Reactor starting from 1993.
    In the prelude to the October 1, 2009 negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran, the Islamic Republic claimed that the fuel for its research reactor was running out and that it intended to purchase 20% enriched… Read More ›

    Excerpts from Internal IAEA Document on Alleged Iranian Nuclear Weaponization

    October 2, 2009

    On September 17, 2009 an Associated Press article by George Jahn sparked widespread discussion on what the IAEA actually knew and thought about the nature of Iran’s nuclear program. The September 17 article was more recently followed by another very interesting piece by Mark Hibbs who described the Agency’s internal debates.
    ISIS takes a look at what is… Read More ›

    Official State Department Statement on the October 1 Talks

    October 1, 2009

    The Background Briefing below was issued today in Geneva and states that Iran has agreed “in principle” to shipping the bulk of its existing low enriched uranium (LEU) stockpile to Russia where it will be further enriched for use in the Tehran Research Reactor.

    Additional information about Qom site

    October 1, 2009

    The site outside of Qom, identified by ISIS on September 25, has been monitored remotely by the intelligence community for several years.  U.S. government officials have not revealed the exact date when monitoring started, or when Iran decided to build the enrichment facility at this site.  A U.S. intelligence official told ISIS that the site was… Read More ›

    Archive: September 2009

    Is the Qom enrichment facility a repurposed tunnel complex?

    September 29, 2009

    The analysis of commercial satellite imagery from 2004, 2005 and 2009 seems to suggest that the recently disclosed Qom centrifuge enrichment facility in Iran may have previously been a tunnel complex not specifically designated for enrichment purposes. The limited early construction as compared to the greatly increased pace that follows seem to suggested that the facility was converted to house… Read More ›

    Suspected Qom enrichment plant site image overlay by Ogle Earth

    September 28, 2009

    Ogle Earth, using recent satellite imagery provided by ISIS and DigitalGlobe, has created a Google Earth viewable map of the most likely candidate for the Qom enrichment plant site in Iran. The downloadable KML file when opened in Google Earth provides an overlay of the 2005 and 2009 imagery of the site.
    You can download the file here:… Read More ›

    New Satellite Imagery of Suspected Gas Centrifuge Site Near Qom, Iran

    September 27, 2009

    ISIS has obtained new commercial satellite imagery from GeoEye taken on September 26, 2009 of the suspected covert gas centrifuge facility under construction near Qom, Iran. This is one of the two suspect sites that ISIS assessed on Friday were likely locations of the facility. ISIS assesses that this site is the most likely location of the centrifuge facility revealed… Read More ›

    Satellite Imagery of Two Possible Sites of the Qom Enrichment Facility in Iran

    September 25, 2009

    ISIS takes a look at 2 sites that fit the reports of the possible locations of the recently disclosed Qom uranium enrichment facility in Iran.
    Both sites display tunnel entrances into facilities located within mountains and in the confines of military bases within 30-40km from the city of Qom.
    The set of before and after commercial satellite… Read More ›

    U.S. statements regarding the disclosure of the Qom enrichment plant

    September 25, 2009

    Here are the USG-drafted background and talking points regarding the disclosure of the clandestine centrifuge facility at Qom.

    Official U.S. Government Statements Regarding the Qom Enrichment Plant Disclosure

    Q&A on the Qom Enrichment Plant Disclosure

    Video of the statements by the… Read More ›

    NYT reports clandestine facility near Qom

    September 25, 2009

    There is significant breaking news today of an alleged clandestine facility in Iran, which though not currently operational, could eventually house as many as 3,000 centrifuges.  According to the New York Times, the underground site is located near the holy city of Qom, south of Tehran.  The IAEA’s director of safeguards, Olli Heinonen, has been… Read More ›

    Concern increases over Venezuela’s nuclear ambitions and strengthening ties to Iran

    September 22, 2009

    Recently Hugo Chavez announced that Venezuela would seek the cooperation of Russia in developing a nuclear program that could involve the construction of a research reactor and a power reactor. In light of Venezuela’s strengthening ties with Iran, claims by Chavez that the two countries should cooperate in the nuclear realm, the announcement that Venezuela would supply Iran with refined… Read More ›

    ISIS Case Study of the trials of German-Iranian trader Mohsen Vanaki and the relevant intelligence

    September 16, 2009

    ISIS takes a look at the case of Mohsen Vanaki, a German-Iranian trader, who was arrested in November 2007 and charged for brokering several deals to illicitly transfer dual use materials for what the German intelligence service (BND) believed to be an ongoing Iranian nuclear weapons program. The report analyzes the initial dismissal of charges and a following reversal by… Read More ›

    Iran proposal to EU

    September 11, 2009

    Congratulations to Dafna Linzer at ProPublica for scooping us on this (we worked very hard yesterday to get a copy but not fast enough to beat Dafna).  A link to Iran’s response to the EU/U.S. offer of diplomatic engagement on the nuclear issue is here.

    We are sure that plenty of analysis will be forthcoming from all… Read More ›

    Natanz Enrichment Plant: How to Measure Progress

    September 1, 2009

    Before the release of the much anticipated August 2009 IAEA safeguards report on Iran there were a lot of rumors regarding a supposed slow down in the Iranian enrichment program. Following the IAEA report which indicated that 2 cascades with a total of 328 centrifuges at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant had been taken off line, some media… Read More ›

    Archive: August 2009

    ISIS Analysis of August 2009 IAEA Iran Report

    August 28, 2009

    Centrifuges increase; Rate of LEU production steady; progress on inspection requests at Arak and Natanz; no progress on possible military dimensions.

    August 2009 IAEA Safeguards Report on Iran

    August 28, 2009

    The IAEA has released its long awaited August 2009 Safeguards report on Iran. There has been a great degree of anticipation regarding this particular issue because of the reported halt in the increase of the number of centrifuges at Natanz which had been steadily growing since the public revelation of the Iranian nuclear program back in 2003. Expert opinions… Read More ›

    Update on the Arak Heavy Water Reactor in Iran

    August 25, 2009

    On August 11, 2009, ISIS released a report on Iran’s IR-40 heavy water reactor at Arak, which is currently under construction.  The report raised several questions regarding the reactor’s planned fuel and the status of its construction.  Since the release of that report, ISIS has received additional information on these issues, shedding more light on the origin of the… Read More ›