Once a Liar …

Once a liar, always a liar. The Islamic Republic of Iran has a bad reputation when it comes to transparency regarding its nuclear, allegedly peaceful, program. While former Director General (DG) of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and 2005 Nobel Peace Prize winner (together with the IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei knew his audience (and might have effectively prevented further military actions during his 12-year term), new DG Yukiya Amano has to explore himself how far he might go in making clear that Iran’s cooperation with the Agency is everything else than constructive and, on the other hand, avoid alarming and possibly misleading statements about well-known facts and allegations, which have plagued numerous DG reports on Iran in the past. There is a tremendous risk that discussions among the Board of Governors may lead to another referral of the case to the UN Security Council, with new sanctions (unlikely at the moment), even military attacks; just another full-scale disaster in the Middle East.

While most mainstream media have welcomed Amano’s harsh criticism in his recent report, at least two of his issues are in fact rather questionable. First, he does not mention that Iran has asked for up to 20% enriched uranium for its research reactor in Tehran which produces medical isotopes. Only when negotiations with western powers about a possible swap of its low-enriched uranium failed, due to mutual lack of trust, Iran commenced enriching further itself. The report does not mention Iran’s request of June 2, 2009.

Second, the so-called alleged studies, i.e., the stolen laptop which the U.S. never provided to the alleged culprit Iran, including the ‘Green Salt project’, high explosive tests, and re-entry missiles, might not be resolved to the satisfaction of western powers. On the other hand, there is no news about it. It has been mentioned in each of the previous reports and the former DG has regularly demanded that the Unites States provide the IAEA and Iran with the full documentation.

Insofar can some parts of Ali Ashgar Soltanieh’s copious laments to the IAEA be apprehended. Others won’t. In contrast, Soltanieh’s “root cause of Iran’s confidence deficit vis-à-vis some western countries (the U.S., Germany, France, Eurodif)  on assurances of nuclear fuel supply” may be considered a sober lesson for Amano in the old adage, once a liar, always a liar. It seems to be a mutual problem.

Whether it will help Iran to avert an imminent referral of the case to the UNSC is another story.

Last update March 5, 2010

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