As some government representatives continue to insist Iran is pursing nuclear weapons, this article by Abbas Edalat and Mehrnaz Shahabi describes the latest rounds of meetings between Iran and the IAEA clearing Iran of its plutonium experiments.
Following the July visit of the IAEA to Tehran, agreement was reached on an action plan with defined modalities and timetable to address all outstanding ambiguities in relation to Iran’s nuclear programme within a strict timeframe until November. As the first outcome of this agreement and a strong vindication of its workability, the August 27 announcement of the IAEA cleared Iran‘s plutonium experiments – labelled by the US as major evidence of Iran’s weaponisation programme. Furthermore, according to a statement, “the Agency has been able to verify the non-diversion of the declared nuclear material at the enrichment facilities in Iran and has therefore concluded that it remains in peaceful use.”
The article also calls on the British government and the EU to give Iran and the IAEA time to continue their cooperation, criticizing Washington for acts of “sabotage” against this arrangement.
Notwithstanding this very promising development, the US government has described Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA as an attempt by the Iranian government to distract from its alleged intention of developing nuclear weapons. This US description prompted the following response from ElBaradei in an interview with Spiegel: “I am familiar with these accusations. They are completely untrue. It’s not possible to manipulate us. We are not naive and we do not take sides.” Dismissive of the head of IAEA, the US, with some supportive words from Gordon Brown, has recklessly called for a third round of sanctions against Iran by the UN security council, which will no doubt jeopardise the Iran-IAEA agreement as Iran has already warned.
The authors also note that the continued charges leveled at Iran for aiding attacks against coalition forces lack evidence to support the claims.
However, the US allegations of Iranian involvement in aiding attacks against the coalition forces in Iraq have not been supported by any evidence and, as recently as in the last few weeks, President Karsai and Prime Minister Maliki praised Iran. The British foreign secretary, David Miliband, admitted in his interview with the Financial Times that there was no evidence of Iran’s complicity in violence and instability in Iraq.
Update: Read Farideh Farhi’s post for more on the IAEA Board of Governors meeting this week where Iran is likely to dominate the agenda.
Irancove @ September 11, 2007