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IAEA 2/22 Report in the Eye of an Iranian

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh 

Not only in the complicated world of politics but in one’s personal life too, attention to the method, outlook and line of reasoning of the other party would provide you with the possibility of understanding a question and finding a logical and lasting solution to it. However, this would be possible only when there is genuine intention and effort to find a solution to a problem. But when one party seems to benefit from continued tension and finds a comprehensive and logical compromise contrary to its convenience, no matter how rational the other party may be, it would not change its partner’s outlook because the former would block any settlement and understanding on baseless grounds and even by way of obstruction. In fact, here we are no more concerned about reasoning and logic but faced with a climate of peevishness which would strongly tarnish any perspective for understanding.

The same situation applies to Iran’s nuclear case at present, particularly after the release of IAEA Director General Mohammad ElBaradei’s latest report issued February 22, 2008. When Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency reached an agreement on the six-part modality plan last year it seemed that IAEA and the West (particularly the U.S. and certain European states) had included all the ambiguous points concerning Iran’s nuclear dossier in that plan and were waiting for Iran’s answers. Meantime, beside the six questions raised in the modality plan and in the text of the Work Plan, Iran and IAEA also agreed to clarify claims by certain sources regarding such issues as the “Green Salt”, high explosive testing, etc. Although Iran regarded these claims to be unfounded and politically-motivated, yet due to the positive climate created in the course of the modality process, it accepted to answer those questions as a sign of goodwill.

Read the following paragraph from the text of the Work Plan:  

"Iran reiterated that it considers the following alleged studies as politically motivated and baseless allegations. The Agency will however provide Iran with access to the documentation it has in its possession regarding: the Green Salt Project, the high explosive testing and the missile re-entry vehicle. As a sign of goodwill and cooperation with the Agency, upon receiving all related documents, Iran will review and inform the Agency of its assessment."

Nevertheless, a glance at the trend of preparation and submission of these questions by IAEA reveals deliberate obstructions by certain countries. Why should the United States hand over the alleged points of ambiguity to IAEA just only one week before compilation and release of the report by ElBaradei? Isn’t it true that these questions - as claimed by the American officials – have been taken from the famous laptop with an unknown owner which Iran has never confirmed it ever belonged to any Iranian officials?

This alleged information has been in possession of American officials for months, so why should it take so long for them to send it to IAEA? Isn’t it just the kind of spitefulness mentioned in the beginning of this article?

Let’s put aside this argument and take a wider look at the issue. Iran’s nuclear dossier has been affecting an important portion of the international community for more than five years. Therefore, any effort to resolve this issue must be coupled with a positive outlook.

Isn’t it true that Iran’s very decision to promote its cooperation with IAEA – to the extent that ElBaradei in his recent report cites as cooperation very close to the arrangements cited in NPT - a sign of its intention to resolve the issue peacefully? Isn't Iran's desire to sign the NPT on the condition that the security aspect of its nuclear case is dropped and the dossier is returned to IAEA from the Security Council, a sign of Tehran’s goodwill? How can the remarks made by senior American officials and their emphasis on the need for a third resolution against Iran exactly on the same day the IAEA report is released, help resolve the issue? Doesn’t ElBaradei’s reconfirmation that IAEA has noticed no diversion in Iran’s nuclear program a proof of its peaceful nature?

What we are witnessing right now is Iran’s cooperation in resolving the questions raised in the modality plan in a time span shorter than expected, allowing IAEA inspectors to visit sites they had not been allowed to visit before, and exposing all its enrichment activities to IAEA supervision, and certain other cases. Although there may be certain points in the IAEA report indicating lack of conclusiveness about the general picture of Iran’s nuclear program, yet the climate of Iran’s measures is generally positive. Now, any spiteful and indifferent approach towards these measures would definitely not help resolve the problem.  

If the wise people in the international community have come to the conclusion that Iran’s nuclear issue can and must be resolved through negotiations and peaceful means, now is the best time to show signs of this attitude irrespective of the obstructions and excuses sought by certain powers.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has proved it is ready for any cooperation in removing the existing ambiguities regarding its nuclear program in line with mutual respect. This attitude within the layers of the IRI establishment should not be simply overlooked nor should it be regarded as something everlasting!

طراحی و توسعه آگاه‌سیستم