If you follow the media reports out of the International Atomic Energy Agency you might get the impression that the sum of all problems with safeguards agreements boils down to two nations: Iran and Syria.
The reality though is that roughly half of all of the IAEA member nations on the planet are in the exact same boat as Iran in refusing to “provide sufficient cooperation to clarify or resolve agency questions.”
Exactly who those nations are is a secret, unfortunately, as the IAEA’s annual report doesn’t name names. Indeed, the only reason we know so much about their regular griping about Iran is that those “private” statements are immediately leaked to the press, while the other nations’ virtual identical problems are simply not.
It isn’t hard to imagine how so many nations could be running afoul of the IAEA at any given time, however. The examples with Iran have shown the agency regularly making demands for access to sites then not following through, and rejecting straightforward answers as lacking “clarity.”
Still, analysts were quick to say that they don’t believe this is a case of “grave violations” by any of the nations in question, which is important to note because the exact same information, when presented to us with respect to Iran, is supposed to provide proof-positive of an existential threat to much of the planet.