10 Instances of IAEA Violation of Its Agreements with Iran

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The latest report issued by IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei concerning Iran’s nuclear activities, in addition to the positive points which confirmed the peaceful nature of Iran’s program, contained certain issues which show the controversial approach of the international body and its submission to foreign political pressures. This IAEA stance is in clear and repeated violation of its former agreements with Iran.

The US Ambassador to the IAEA, Gregory Schulte in an interview with Asharq-al-Awsat newspaper on Sept. 20, 2008, stated that the IAEA will send a letter to Iran and as long as Tehran does not answer all the questions of the agency and does not respect all the international resolutions, its dossier at the IAEA will remain open!

The remarks by the US envoy to the IAEA Governing Board indicate as though it is the United States which dictates everything to the IAEA! If the IAEA, after all those violations of its commitments cited below, decides to write such a letter, this would mean that the agency has unilaterally abrogated its (modality) agreement with Iran on the orders of Washington. Because in the agreement reached between Iran and IAEA, only execution of 7 cases had been raised and it has been explicitly stated in the agreement that after these cases are settled, Iran’s dossier would return to its normal course. There has been no mention of implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions and response to the endless questions of the IAEA in the agreement.

However, irrespective of the stance adopted by Schulte, it is necessary to mention several points regarding ElBaradei’s latest Iran report:

1.    There is open controversy in the latest IAEA report (September 2008) on Iran. On the one hand, item 21 says: “… The Agency currently has no information - apart from the uranium metal document - on the actual design or manufacture by Iran of nuclear material components of a nuclear weapon or of certain other key components, such as initiators, or on related nuclear physics studies.” On the other hand, in item 23 it says: “The Agency, regrettably, has not been able to make any substantive progress on the alleged studies and other associated key remaining issues which remain of serious concern!” The question here is that when IAEA announces that it has no information about nuclear physics studies, this can clearly breach the authenticity of the alleged studies documents because if IAEA did believe in authenticity of these studies, it would never announce it possessed no information in this regard. Therefore, there is no genuine document in this connection and there is no room for any concern either.

2.    Item 23 says “for the Agency to make progress, an important first step, in connection with the alleged studies, is for Iran to clarify the extent to which information contained in the relevant documentation is factually correct and where, in its view, such information may have been modified or relates to alternative, non-nuclear purposes.” This request is in conflict with the modality agreement signed between Iran and IAEA. Because according to the agreement, Iran considers all these documents forged and would inform IAEA of its assessment only after receiving the original alleged studies documents from the Agency. Therefore, the questions posed in item 23 for Iran to make those clarifications are totally against the previous agreements.

3.    With regard to the current behavior of IAEA, it can be concluded that this international body has openly violated the agreement known as modality. Because it is mentioned in the agreement that first of all, the Agency should provide Iran with all the alleged studies documents and then expect Iran to offer its assessment. But the truth is that the Agency provided Iran only with the list of all the documents on the alleged studies on April 25, 2008, namely 9 months after the modality agreement and that too after repeated requests by Iran. The IAEA has said the reason for its failure to provide the documents was Washington’s opposition. But the question is how could they expect transparent behavior from Iran while they have not provided Tehran with any documents!

4.    On the other hand, the IAEA has announced in its numerous sessions that the reason for Washington’s opposition to disclosure of the documents on the alleged studies about Iran is its concern over exposure of nuclear arms documents! According to news reports, in reaction to this stance of IAEA, Iran has informed the Agency that if the US believes these documents belong to Iran then it is Iran which should keep the original documents and there is no need for any concern!  Therefore, it is obvious that the documents have been forged by the US and its agents and the reason they refuse to submit them to Tehran is that it would prove they are fake.

5.    Another clear IAEA violation of its recent agreement with Iran is that the agreement mentioned 6 issues plus the question of alleged studies and it was said that “these are the outstanding issues and there are no other remaining issues.” In its February 22, 2008 report too, the Agency announced that all the six issues had been settled and that only the issue of the alleged studies remained to be resolved. Another open breach of the agreement with Iran by the Agency was that two months later in its May 26 report, IAEA added a new set under “military dimensions” while just one of them related to the alleged studies and the rest consisted of other issues. In this way, the Agency by increasing the number of outstanding issues openly violated both its agreement with Iran and its February 2008 report.

6.    Another IAEA violation of the so-called modality agreement is that in the said agreement a deadline had been set for submission of the Agency’s questions. It was said there that there would be no more questions. Concerning the alleged studies, the Agency practically submitted a list of all its questions for Iran on April 25, 2008 but after that it left room for countless questions.

7.    It is to be noted that Iran, in addition to the 6 cases mentioned in the agreement, has completely fulfilled its commitments towards the “alleged studies”. Despite the fact that IAEA has failed to submit the alleged documents to Iran, however, Tehran has informed the Agency of its evaluation based on the modalities. Now it seems it is time for IAEA to fulfill its commitments regarding normalization of Iran’s dossier.

8.    In the meantime, the demand by IAEA to inspect (military) sites and interview military people concerning conventional weapons and Iran’s missile documents is a violation of the mutual agreement and also contrary to the duties of the Agency. In other words, the international organization cannot ask the Islamic Republic of Iran or any other country to allow it to intervene in their national security affairs.

9.    Yet another breach by IAEA is related to uranium metal document. Although this issue has been closed through a letter dated February 2008, regrettably it has been cited in note 14 of the latest report as an unresolved issue.

10.     Among other interesting issues is that IAEA has submitted only three pages of documents in English to Iran and due to US persistence that these alleged documents are real and belong to Iran, Tehran has been forced to write a letter to the Governing Board and ask them to pass their judgment on those three pages to make it clear that Washington has no reason for attributing these forged documents to Iran.

In this way, ElBaradei has once again distanced from the technical and legal standards of a United Nations watchdog regarding the nuclear activities of various countries and has provided the ground for leveling unfounded and countless charges by the White House as well as undocumented claims against Iran so that the case still remains on the agenda of the IAEA inspection division as well as the periodic meetings of the Governing Board. Under these conditions that ElBaradei is playing to the tune of the United States, will Iran continue its unilateral course of trusting Mr. Director General?


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