Here is a pdf copy of the "Restricted Distribution" report by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran."

These concluding clips from the Summary underscore that ElBaradei sees Iran moving in a positive direction and setting its nuclear program up for high level transparency that had not been previously the case:

22. The Agency is able to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran. Iran has been providing the Agency with access to declared nuclear material, and has provided the required nuclear material accountancy reports in connection with declared nuclear material and facilities. However, the Agency remains unable to verify certain aspects relevant to the scope and nature of Iran's nuclear programme.

It should be noted that since early 2006, the Agency has not received the type of information that Iran had previously been providing, including pursuant to the Additional Protocol, for example information relevant to ongoing advanced centrifuge research.

23. The work plan is a significant step forward. If Iran finally addresses the long outstanding verification issues, the Agency should be in a position to reconstruct the history of Iran's nuclear programme. Naturally, the key to successful implementation of the agreed work plan is Iran's full and active cooperation with the Agency, and its provision to the Agency of all relevant information and access to all relevant documentation and individuals to enable the Agency to resolve all outstanding issues.

To this end, the Agency considers it essential that Iran adheres to the time line defined therein and implements all the necessary safeguards and transparency measures, including the measures  provided for in the Additional Protocol. 

24. Once Iran's past nuclear programme has been clarified, Iran would need to continue to build confidence about the scope and nature of its present and future nuclear programme. Confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme requires that the Agency be able to provide assurances not only regarding declared nuclear material, but, equally important, regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, through the implementation of the Additional Protocol. The Director General therefore again urges Iran to ratify and bring into force the Additional Protocol at the earliest possible date, as requested by the Board of Governors and the Security Council.

This last section, however, is what the United States and France are crying foul over and which remains a major obstacle to more political progress:

25. Contrary to the decisions of the Security Council, Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities, having continued with the operation of PFEP, and with the construction and operation of FEP. Iran is also continuing with its construction of the IR-40 reactor and operation of the Heavy Water Production Plant.

What is happening now is that there are now at least three, if not more, divergent international tracks in confronting Iran on its nuclear program. 

The IAEA track -- which the Iranians themselves have now just applauded (which does raise questions actually) -- is citing enough progress on transparency and possible cooperation with international nuclear protocols that the IAEA is at odds with the third round of economic sanctions that the U.S. and France are trying to rally against Iran.

Then inside American and some European circles, Iran's failure to suspend its enrichment program requires toughened sanctions, each round of which becomes tighter -- harming both Iran as well as firms in nations applying the sanctions.

And third, the neoconservative crowd simply wants to suspend all negotiations and begin bombing.

At a minimum, ElBaradei's report probably stalls somewhat the neoconservative effort to start yet another war -- but I think that the sanctions noose that Under Secretary of State R. Nicholas Burns is feverishly working on will continue.

And if there was a God that had ElBaradei working on one side of the process and Burns on the other -- with the neocons somewhere very, very hot -- I'd think that that was a brilliant good cop/bad cop strategy. 

Unfortunately, I don't think that such order and design exist in our universe.

-- Steve Clemons

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