Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Russia, China Caution IAEA to File Fair Report on Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- Reports said Russia and China are urging the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to act fairly when issuing its next report on Iran.

"Russians and Chinese are not pressuring the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to refrain from reporting on the realities of Iran's nuclear program," one Western diplomat said. 

Another Western envoy to the agency said however that they expected the IAEA head, Yukiya Amano, to resist western countries' pressures and publish the report the week before a November 17-18 meeting of the 35-member IAEA board, as planned. 

What Amano says in the report "is not going to be a reflection on who has bent his ear in one direction or the other," the Vienna-based diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity. 

Russia and China have traditionally taken a softer stance on Iran than fellow veto-holding UN Security Council powers the United States, Britain and France. 

Previous IAEA reports have concentrated on Iran's efforts to enrich uranium, and said that there has been "no diversion in Iran's nuclear materials". 

The IAEA chief is under much pressure by the US and its European allies to have a high-pitch tone in his Iran report. 

Very recently the US started a new round of allegations against Iran to prepare the ground for a new set of UN sanctions against Tehran, and it now needs a harsh IAEA report to achieve its goal. 

US-Iranian relations are already fraught, hot on the heels of US accusations - rejected by Iran - that Tehran was behind an alleged plot for a Mexican drug cartel to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington. 

Washington and its Western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. 

Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry. 

Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West's calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment. 

Tehran has dismissed West's demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians' national resolve to continue the path. 

Tehran has repeatedly said that it considers its nuclear case closed as it has come clean of IAEA's questions and suspicions about its past nuclear activities. 

A 2008 report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by the then Director-General, Mohamed ElBaradei, thanked Iran's honest cooperation in removing ambiguities about its past activities and confirmed that Iran has answered all the six outstanding questions of the world body about the nuclear material and activities that it had had in the past. 

The US attempt to push for stronger Security Council sanctions has been undermined by the country's own national intelligence estimate, published in late 2007, which said Iran is not pursuing a weapons program. 

Washington's push for additional UN penalties also contradicts reports by the former IAEA Director-General ElBaradei - including a report in November 2007 and the other one in February 2008 - which praised Iran's truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran. 

The February 2008 report by the UN nuclear watchdog praised Iran's cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran's nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions. 

Also in another report to the IAEA's 35-member Board of Governors, ElBaradei once again verified Iran's non-diversion of declared nuclear material, adding that the UN agency has failed to discover any "components of a nuclear weapon" or "related nuclear physics studies" in Iran. 

The UN nuclear watchdog has also carried out frequent surprise inspections of Iran's nuclear sites so far, but found nothing to support the West's allegations. 

The Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog continues snap inspections of Iranian nuclear sites and has reported that all "declared nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for, and therefore such material is not diverted to prohibited activities." 

Analysts believe that the aforementioned reports have made any effort to impose further sanctions on Iran completely irrational. 

Observers also believe that US President Barack Obama's attempt to rally international pressure against Iran lost steam due to the growing international vigilance following the said reports and after the start of Islamic Awakening in the region. 

Many world nations have called the UN Security Council pressure against Iran unjustified, specially in the wake of the said IAEA reports, stressing that Tehran's case should be normalized and returned to the UN nuclear watchdog due to the Islamic Republic's full cooperation with the agency.  

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