US: UN Should Provide Detailed Reports on Iran Nuke Program

March 9, 2016 Updated: March 9, 2016

VIENNA — The United States on Wednesday urged the U.N. atomic agency to continue providing details on Iran’s compliance with a deal crimping its nuclear work amid Western concerns that the agency’s newest report is too light on specifics.

Until now, such concerns have mostly been voiced privately. U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday he is “confident that the deal puts in place the tools and reporting requirements” needed.

But chief U.S. IAEA delegate Henry S. Ensher told the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency board Wednesday that continued “robust and detailed reporting on Iran’s implementation of its commitments” remains vital even with the agreement now in effect.

All six nations that struck the deal with Iran are confident that the agency has a better-than-ever overview of Tehran’s nuclear program due to transparency commitments on the part of the Islamic Republic as part of the deal.

But the four Western countries that negotiated with Iran — the U.S., Britain, France and Germany — prefer more details than were evident in last month’s first post-deal report.

In contrast, the other two countries — Russia and China — consider the new report balanced, while Iran complains the report is too in-depth. IAEA chief Yukiya Amano feels he has struck the right balance, considering Iran is no longer in violation of U.N. and agency demands to curb its nuclear program.

His report was much less detailed than pre-nuclear deal summaries, essentially ticking off the major obligations that Iran agreed to when the deal took hold Jan. 16 and stating that most were met or minor deviations quickly remedied.

Amano has suggested he won’t be pressured, telling The Associated Press that his Iran reporting will remain “factual, impartial and include the information which the agency considers necessary.”