August 17
Show news feed

Nuclear weapons are easier to get than ever before, said Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"In general terms, the technology to develop nuclear weapons is an old one, dating back 70 years, and after that lots of progress has been made in technology," CBS News reported quoting Yukiya Amano. 

According to him, "you can get the information, you can get the material, the education. It's available.”

"That is one of the reasons why we have to strengthen our activities to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and verify that all the material and equipment stay for a peaceful purpose," Amano said.

North Korea

According to CEO, over the last decade North Korea's "nuclear program has significantly expanded.”

"Over the past year, activities at some facilities continued or developed further," he said.

He noted that the IAEA "is the only international organization that can verify and monitor denuclearization in an impartial, independent and objective manner.”

Iran still sticking to nuke deal

"I don't see activities that are contrary to the Iran nuclear agreement... but we need to monitor very, very carefully," Amano said referring to Iran nuclear deal that the Trump administration withdrew from last year. 

According to him, so far Iran is implementing the deal, while the US is "a very important country, so, of course, it (the U.S. withdrawal) has impact.”

Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. The IAEA has already said that Iran continues to abide by it.

Saudi Arabia's nuclear energy bid

Saudi Arabia seeks to join the nuclear community. The Kingdom is currently considering applications from international companies for the construction of the first two nuclear reactors, but the country does not meet stringent international nuclear control standards now. That, experts and the IAEA say, is a problem.

The Trump administration seems interested in helping Saudi Arabia create a nuclear energy program. The White House said that if the US does not get a contract, a country that is less interested in providing a verifiable and legitimate nuclear program can get it.

The leading US consortium, Westinghouse, competes for contracts with companies from China, France, Russia and South Korea.

In the late 1990s, the IAEA adopted a new, more stringent monitoring program, known as the “Additional Protocol”. Many countries with nuclear programs, old and new, have agreed to join the new oversight mechanism, but not Saudi Arabia.

According to Amano, the additional protocol is, "a powerful verification tool that gives the Agency broader access to information about all parts of a State's nuclear fuel cycle. It also gives our inspectors greater access to sites and locations, in some cases with as little as two hours' notice.”

Saudi Arabia states it is only pursuing nuclear energy, not weapons, however, last year Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that his country "does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb — but without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible."

This text available in   Հայերեն and Русский