Heinonen: Iran’s nuclear scientists are ‘the best of the best’

June 7, 2019 - 19:47

TEHRAN – Olli Heinonen, a former deputy chief at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said on Thursday that Iran’s nuclear scientists are “the best of the best”, according to the Times of Israel.

Iran’s nuclear scientists are exceedingly savvy and they are talented engineers, said Heinonen, who played a key role at the IAEA almost two decades ago.

“They have enormous resources. They went to the best universities in the world. And when you look at the technicians who work in those facilities, they are very different from those I have seen who work in other manufacturing industries, producing tanks or cars. They are the best of the best,” explained Heinonen who served as the IAEA deputy director-general for safeguards.

Elsewhere in his remarks, he said that there are “strong indications” that Iran is in breach of its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the official name for the nuclear 2015 deal.

On May 8, Iran announced it was partially removing limits on its nuclear program in response to the United States’ decision the year before to drop out of the nuclear deal and impose heavy economic sanctions on Iran and the countries and groups that do business with it. Last week, the IAEA said Iran was staying within the limitations set by the 2015 nuclear accord, though its stockpiles of low-enriched uranium and heavy water were growing.