ISSN 2330-717X

Political, Legal Dilemma Facing IAEA – OpEd


By Hassan Beheshtipour

After meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said his agency “is not in a position” to be able to announce that Iran has full cooperation with the IAEA, saying the essential and critical issue is that Tehran “is not meeting its obligations.”

Salehi reacted to the vantage point after the meeting, saying Iran is ready to cooperate “closer” with the agency, should it confirm Tehran’s cooperation. But before any closer and further cooperation, the agency should officially announce that the first stage has been completed and the six outstanding issues have been resolved, he noted.

The minister was referring to the August 2007 agreement between the two sides, which was aimed at resolving the West’s standoff with Iran over the country’s nuclear program. At that stage, Tehran moved to once and for all offer an initiative to resolve the outstanding issues so any ambiguity regarding its past or present peaceful nuclear activities is defused.

Based on the accord, the ambiguities had been summarized in six questions. Once the questions were clearly answered, Iran’s dossier would be transferred from the UN Security Council back to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for consideration.

At the time, Iran’s main objective was to coordinate its work plan with the agency so all the issues be resolved and Tehran be rid of the hollow accusations leveled against it by some international institutions and countries. For that purpose, then IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei and the former Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani agreed on one such Work Plan named INFCIRC/711. Based on the plan, the six outstanding issues were listed as Plutonium Experiments, P1-P2 Centrifuges, Source of Contamination in the equipment of a technical university, Uranium Metal Document, Polonium 210 and Gachine Mine.

Paragraph 5 of Chapter IV of the Work Plan reads, “The Agency and Iran agreed that after the implementation of the above Work Plan and the agreed modalities for resolving the outstanding issues, the implementation of safeguards in Iran will be conducted in a routine manner.”

In its November 2007 and February 2008 reports, IAEA has clearly announced that the Islamic Republic of Iran has answered the agency’s questions regarding the outstanding issues based on the Work Plan.

Of course, the agency has said that each issue has been resolved separately and has refrained from announcing that they had all been finally and coincidentally resolved as it claims that there are still some ambiguities regarding Iran’s nuclear program. In Iran’s view, however, no evidence has been produced which proves non-transparency of the country’s activities to oblige Tehran to provide an appropriate answer.

Iran is of the opinion that the successful implementation of the Work Plan and the resolution of all the six issues have disappointed the US. The disappointment has prompted Washington to shift focus on a part of the plan called alleged studies through waging political and diversionary propaganda and try to sabotage the course of Tehran’s cooperation with the IAEA by obstructing the agency’s operation and exerting different sorts of pressure on it.

On this side, Iranian Foreign Minister Salehi, who has a precise knowledge of Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities due to his scientific and executive experiences, has called on the agency to find a way to resolve the existing deadlock caused by the adoption of four unfair United Nations Security Council resolutions against Iran.

In response to this logical request, Amano in an irresponsible and partial manner insisted on the enforcement of the commitments specified in the unfair Security Council resolutions. Meanwhile, he, as the most high-ranking official of the agency, is expected to focus on coming up with initiatives and take the necessary measures in this regard to help resolve the existing problems.

Iran has stepped up its cooperation with IAEA but from the agency’s view, this cooperation has not been satisfactory. The basic point for the Islamic Republic of Iran is how long this illegal and unfair trend will continue. Provided that Iran acquiesced to address the new ambiguities designed by Zionist think tanks, under the supervision of Tel Aviv, and relayed to the agency via US officials, would there be an end to such questions and excuses if? Would not it be better for Amano to stop insisting on the unconditional implementation of the UN Security Council’s unfair resolutions like an angel-looking puppet and instead provide a new solution out of the stalemate that “alleged studies” bring up?

The fact is that the agency wants Iran’s response to allegations from some of the agency’s member states against Iran, while they want Tehran to stop enriching uranium. Whereas the third part of the Work Plan agreed between Iran and the agency reads, “In order to show its good will and practical cooperation with the agency, Iran will analyze all the documents as soon as receiving them and will inform the agency on its evaluation.”

According to this paragraph, the agency was supposed to submit all documents to Iran and Iranian officials, who were to “inform” the agency about their “evaluation” of the documents about alleged studies once they received them. Besides, that document only mentions the holding of a session. Yet to show its goodwill and cooperation with the agency, Iran agreed to launch negotiations with the agency on the condition of receiving the documents of the alleged studies and give the necessary responses to the agency in this regard. However, the agency has not only not provided any documents in this regard, but also drew up its reports solely based on the allegations made against Iran to further reinforce doubts about the nature of Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities in the world’s public opinion.

Amano, in his latest report on Iran’s nuclear program, released in June 2011, announced that the agency had obtained new information about “possible military aspects” that the program has had “in the past and the present.”

Over the past several years, the agency has been investigating reports provided in the intelligence services of some Western countries, pointing to allegations of the program’s diversion in the direction of military aspects.

Among the agency’s alleged sources of concern referred to in the report is information alleging Tehran’s efforts to design a nuclear warhead to replace the conventional Shahab-6.

On the other hand, Iran’s foreign minister says the country stays committed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the agency’s Statute.

The minister has also insisted on the adoption of a “creative approach” for interaction with the IAEA, saying the agency has to first announce that Tehran has answered to all the questions regarding its nuclear program. All the same, the two sides have agreed to continue their negotiations.

The Islamic Republic of Iran wants the new talks to be based on the Work Plan agreed in 2007 as it had been able to clarify for the agency the ambiguous points pertinent to Iran’s nuclear program.

It seems like the time has come for the realization of some creativity as the circumstances are apt for renewed talks.

Will the White House and Tel Aviv allow the agency to perform its inherent and legal obligations in favor of the world countries’ peaceful use of nuclear energy and contribution to safeguarding of international peace and security?

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Press TV is a 24-hour English language global news network owned by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Its headquarters are located in Tehran, Iran. Press TV carries news analysis, documentary talk shows and sports news worldwide with special focus on West Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

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