Evaluation of IAEA Report on Iran

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei on Monday presented his latest report on Iran’s atomic activities to the UN Security Council. The 35-member IAEA Board of Governors plans to discuss the report next week.

A number of Iranian experts have expressed their views about the report:

Hamid Reza Tarraghi, deputy director for international affairs of the Islamic Coalition (Motalefeh) Party said the latest ElBaradei report confirms the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. It also rejects claims by 5+1 and the US in particular that have cast doubt on Iran’s nuclear activities. The report leaves no excuse for 5+1 to set preconditions for negotiations with IRI.

He said under the present condition and in view of Iran’s nuclear package to Europe, the IAEA report can be considered one step forward. Tarraghi said Iran’s cooperation with IAEA for confidence-building and achieving its absolute nuclear rights made the IAEA to once again substantiate non-diversion of Iran’s nuclear program from its peaceful course. However, there are some ambiguities in his report as well in order to ensure Tehran’s continued cooperation with the agency.

He said it was natural for the existing ambiguities in ElBaradei report towards Iran’s nuclear activities to focus on the alleged studies and said it was easy to level charges because it did not require any documentation.He said those who were opposed to Iran’s nuclear program possessed no documents and evidences to prove it was not peaceful and for the same reason raising “alleged studies” was the easiest way to level charges.


IAEA Must Declare All Anti-Iran Sanctions “Null and Void”

Elham Aminzadeh, former member of National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Majlis said it was unprecedented in the world to see the IAEA director announce a country’s nuclear program peaceful for the 12th consecutive time.

However, he noted, Mr. ElBaradei sometimes mentions some ambiguous points in his reports in order to appease 5+1 as well. He added that there was no reason for issuance of a new resolution against IRI. He added that the alleged studies cited in the IAEA report could take place against research of any student, scientist or researcher.

Pointing to some claims raised against Iran in the IAEA report, Aminzadeh noted that even if the agency was reassured one day that Iran’s nuclear program was peaceful, hostile countries would probably raise new excuses and raise new claims to restrict Iran’s studies and research.

Underlining the need for Iran to have peaceful nuclear activities, he said it would be easier to raise such claims against those countries which are definitely not reliable to peaceful use of nuclear energy.


Package Diplomacy Can Pave Way for New Round of Talks

Dr. Ali Khorram, nuclear expert and university lecturer said the latest ElBaradei report, like the previous reports, is double-edged and contains new points, including more emphasis on Iran’s non-commitment to UN Security Council resolutions.

He added that ElBaradei has raised certain claims in violation of the Action Plan agreement and has voiced dissatisfaction over what he has described as Iran’s lack of cooperation on the subject.
He said the new IAEA report could be used as a basis for new decisions by 5+1.

Khorram said the so-called modality plan proved Iran’s transparency on its nuclear program but this has apparently failed to cause strategic changes in the nuclear talks.

On Iran’s new nuclear package and West’s incentives, he said package diplomacy could pave the way for a new round of talks between IRI and 5+1 should the latter show some flexibility.


Latest IAEA Report Contains More Negative Points

Dr. Heshmatollah Falatpisheh, political analyst and newly-elected Member of Parliament said that due to political pressures from 5+1 on IAEA and the person of ElBaradei, the IAEA chief’s latest report contains more negative points against IRI.

He said one point to contemplate on in this latest report is ElBaradei’s special emphasis on Iran’s non-commitment to UN Security Council resolutions and Tehran’s refusal to suspend uranium enrichment.

He said if 5+1 decides to adopt a moderate and realistic approach towards Iran’s nuclear dossier, they can rely on the positive points of the report and the reiteration by ElBaradei that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful. But if they want to adopt a radical stance they would highlight the sections dealing with the UN Security Council to pave the way for new resolutions and more sanctions against Iran.

He said the spirit of the new Iranian package and the incentives offered by the West are totally opposed to escalation of the crisis and disappointment of both sides with negotiations.  Therefore, he noted, for the package diplomacy to work, 5+1 must discontinue its radical approaches.

He said that Iran’s proposed package which is more comprehensive than the West’s incentive package focuses on a fundamental solution for the crisis and can pave the way to end the current impasses.


ElBaradei Report Strong Evidence for Iran to Restore Right

Dr. Mohammad Mahdi Mazaheri, an analyst, says IAEA chief has once again adopted a double-sided report under the US pressure and has spoken of Iran’s failure to cooperate on certain issues such as its refusal to approve the Additional Protocol and its rejection of uranium enrichment suspension.

This is while, he said, Iran has already informed the IAEA and 5+1 group of countries that suspension of uranium is the red line for the nation. He said Tehran has also rejected uranium enrichment suspension as a precondition for negotiations. Concerning the NPT Additional Protocol, he said, more than 120 countries have refused to sign the protocol.

Despite some ambiguities, Mazaheri believed that the latest report by ElBaradei could be used as strong evidence for Iran to restore its legitimate rights in the international system.  Because, he said, the report clearly shows that the Americans, despite repetition of unfounded claims on access to important documents concerning Iran’s nuclear activities, have failed to present IAEA with any evidence or legal or documents to prove their claims.

Mazaheri, also deputy secretary of Iran Parties House, added the efforts of the White House statesmen to deprive Iran of its natural rights are politically motivated and do not conform with international rules and regulations.

He said there were undoubtedly differences among 5+1 on adopting a united stance against Iran’s peaceful activities. For instance, he said, Russia and China do not consider sanctions an appropriate choice to resolve the crisis and continue to stress on diplomatic solutions and direct negotiations. The two countries have also welcomed Iran’s recent nuclear proposal describing it an important step to reach a final solution, he said, adding that the US and certain European countries are still persisting on their hostile attitudes despite Iran’s close cooperation with IAEA based on the former modality plan.

He cast doubt if the new IAEA report would please the American leaders and noted: “Nonetheless, the report is likely to be welcomed by Non-Aligned Movement countries because they are opposed to emergence of insecurity and instability in the region.
From the very beginning, Mazaheri said, the US and the Zionist regime have been opting for coercive and politically motivated measures against Iran’s nuclear case. For them, he said, it is not possible to tolerate a country (Iran) with high potential in nuclear science because this could put an end to Israel’s nuclear monopoly in the region and affect its regional security. For the same reason, Washington and Tel Aviv regard Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities a threat against their entity and regional peace and security.

Mazaheri said in conclusion that intimidation and threat would not prevent the Iranian nation from restoring their legitimate rights. At present, he stressed, the only option available to Iran and the countries involved in the nuclear dispute would be negotiations and multi-lateral diplomacy.


IAEA Reveals Confidential Information

Dr. Hassan Beheshtipour, an international affairs expert said the latest report by ElBaradei, like his previous reports contains positive and negative points, adding that its negative points could be dangerous for IRI.

The main and dangerous point in the report is a claim that Iran has failed to answer some questions posed by IAEA. But, he noted, Iran has only refused to answer questions which are not supposed to be posed by IAEA. Moreover, no documentation has been submitted to Iran concerning these claims and charges.

He said the IAEA has announced that it was unable to submit the original documents on these charges because of a demand by the countries which have raised the questions. “But the question is that until when Iran is supposed to answer these types of questions?”

Beheshtipour noted that the release of such reports is normally very restricted and are made available to IAEA member states only. “But we witness that when dealing with Iran, they inform the public opinion about the information with political motivations. Furthermore, the questions posed by IAEA should remain confidential between the agency and Iran but the report has mentioned the questions.”

He urged Iranian statesmen to show up strongly in the IAEA Governing Council session by relying on the emphasis ElBaradei places on Iran’s cooperation with the agency and defend Iran’s national interests by preparing a strong defense.

The expert also noted that Iran must remember that prolongation of the nuclear issue would be to its detriment at the international level because the US and its allies are working hard to increase international pressure on IRI. They are trying to tell the world that Iran’s nuclear program is not peaceful despite the fact that IAEA has admitted that it is supervising Iran’s nuclear activities and has conducted 14 cases of snap inspections into Iranian sites.

Package Diplomacy, Not ElBaradei Report Decides Fate of Nuclear Dossier
Dr. Mahdi Mottaharnia, a university instructor, commenting on ElBaradei report and its impact on the current climate of the nuclear issue, said: “The reports issued by ElBaradei are usually positive but at the same time ElBaradei tries to neutralize this positive stance by taking a negative stance as well. He thus aims to please both Iran and 5+1.” He added that the latest report by the IAEA chief is no exception and follows the same rule.

Mottaharnia noted that Iran should take a realistic approach vis-à-vis ElBaradei reports and even the IAEA. He added: “Due to the complications of the Iranian nuclear dossier and politicization of a major portion of the dossier, a legal institution like IAEA could not be the main decision-maker. The emphasis by ElBaradei on Iran’s failure to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions is a political approach and shows the influence of the Western powers over IAEA. This is while today Iran is cooperating with IAEA within NPT and even beyond that and has answered all questions of IAEA and allowed inspections by the agency.”

The academic concluded by saying that the mutual package offered by Iran and incentives offered by the West have created a new climate in Iran’s nuclear dossier. In other words, the fate of the Iranian nuclear dossier will be decided by ‘package diplomacy’ rather than ElBaradei reports.”


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