The International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, says Iran has not been cooperative with the agency’s probe of its nuclear program, and has continued to enrich uranium in defiance of demands by the United Nations Security Council. Enriched uranium can be used to produce nuclear weapons.
In a report issued September 15th, the IAEA said that it was not able to make progress on answering questions about alleged nuclear weaponization research Iran may have conducted, because Iran has denied access to relevant sites, documents and scientists. The IAEA also reported that Iran may have had the help of what it called "foreign expertise" for specialized high-explosive testing.
The day after the report was circulated, the IAEA made a presentation to the 35-nation board sharing additional data about possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.
Gregory Schulte, the chief U.S. Representative to the IAEA, said the presentation "showed board members for the first time photographs and documents of work undertaken in Iran on the redesigning of the Shahab-3 missile to be able to carry what would appear to be a nuclear weapon."
White House spokesman Dana Perino said the IAEA report "underscores once again that Iran is refusing to cooperate with the international community":
"These are choices that Iran has made, and we are working to find out, with our allies, what the next course of action would be. ... What I will tell you is that the action that Iran continues to take further isolates its people and its country from the rest of the international community."
The U.N. Security Council has passed three rounds of economic sanctions on Iran. An additional Security Council sanctions resolution is possible in the face of Iran’s refusal to cooperate with the IAEA or comply with U.N. demands that Iran suspend all uranium enrichment activities. The U.S. and the European Union have already imposed sanctions that go beyond those mandated by the U.N.. A recent report by the International Monetary Fund said that sanctions have had a negative affect on Iran’s economy.