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US Trying to Prevent Iran-IAEA Deal

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hassan Beheshtipour

After International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano endorsed in November 2011 the US-Israeli allegations that Iran is attempting to develop a nuclear bomb, it was clear that the new chief of the United Nations nuclear watchdog was following in the footsteps of the Americans who have been indulged in an anti-Iranian campaign since 2002.

Since the very beginning, Iran sought to promote the views of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei regarding a religious ban on the development and stockpiling of nuclear bombs across the globe. To that effect, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi proposed that the Islamic Republic have Ayatollah Khamenei’s fatwa registered with international bodies as an official document so that, in case of an international consensus on the fatwa, all countries would officially become signatories to it.

Nonetheless, under pressure from the United States, the IAEA has once again failed to reach an agreement with Iran on a structured framework even after an eighth round of talks. Such a framework would have defined Iran-IAEA mutual obligations and a timeline for Iran to address concerns raised by the IAEA.

Iran and the IAEA are unlikely to reach an agreement even after their next round of talks, scheduled for February 12, as long as conditions are not conducive to the formation of a much-needed framework.

Fully mindful of the successful experience of August 2007 agreement with the IAEA, Iran hopes to agree once again with the IAEA on a framework based on which it would provide precise and comprehensive responses to the IAEA’s claims.

What factors killed the chance of an agreement this time?

1. The IAEA has once more refused to present documents supporting its allegations about Iran’s nuclear program. Iran needs to be granted access to these documents before clearly answering the questions. The IAEA justifies its refusal on the grounds that the countries that have produced the documents are opposed to their submission to Iran. But that pretext will not discharge the IAEA from its legal obligation to present to the Islamic Republic the so-called evidence of its allegations. The United States and its allies, whose enmity to Iran has already been proven, may claim that submitting these documents would lay bare their intelligence sources to Iran. However, they refuse to explain how they expect a defendant to defend himself without having precise knowledge of the details of accusations brought against him.

2. Another important point is that during this last round of talks in Tehran, the IAEA refused to give assurances that no new issue would be raised if the existing questions were answered. By giving such a guarantee, the IAEA says it would restrict its own rights and tie its own hands. The IAEA is entitled to inspect and keep a tab on the nuclear activities of its member states, but as far as Iran’s case is concerned, the IAEA seems to be seeking pretexts. Over the past years, the IAEA has faced no restrictions in inspecting Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities and its inspectors have conducted 4,000 man-hours of inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities. The IAEA director general has so far published more than 30 reports outlining Iran’s nuclear program to the IAEA member states.

3. The IAEA is not inclined to return Iran’s nuclear dossier to its normal procedure in the IAEA Board of Governors even after allegations of military diversion in Iran’s atomic program are refuted and the country’s nuclear activities are proven to have been compliant with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its Safeguards Agreement. As long as the IAEA does not show its commitment to returning Iran’s dossier to its board of governors, Iran’s nuclear issue would be used as a pretext for ratcheting up pressure on the Islamic Republic.

4. But how can Iran-IAEA talks be aligned with the forthcoming talks between the Islamic Republic and six world powers -- the US, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany -- known as the P5+1 group? No breakthrough is expected from the next round of Iran-IAEA talks in Tehran unless the US and its allies recognize possible Iran-IAEA agreements, and the countries who have been pressuring the IAEA over the past ten years, provide sufficient guarantee that the implementation of likely accords will not be hindered.

*A researcher, documentary producer, and a frequent contributor to Press TV, Hassan Beheshtipour was born on June 22, 1961 in Tehran. He received his BA in Trade Economics from Tehran University. His research topics span from US and Russian foreign policy to the Ukrainian Orange Revolution. Beheshtipour is currently busy with research on the 1979 US embassy takeover in Tehran.

Source: Press TV
http://www.presstv.ir/

More By Hassan Beheshtipour:

*Negotiations for Some Seasons: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Negotiations-for-Some-Seasons.htm

*Breaking the Deadlock over Iran’s Nuclear Talks: A Practical Model: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Breaking-the-Deadlock-over-Iran-s-Nuclear-Talks-A-Practical-Model.htm

*NAM Summit and Iran’s Presidency: Achievements and Opportunities: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/NAM-Summit-and-Iran-s-Presidency-Achievements-and-Opportunities.htm

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