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The Threatening Amano Report

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TEHRAN, June 1 (ICANA) – Yukiya Amano, Secretary General of the IAEA has delivered a new report on Iran’s nuclear program. Iranian Diplomacy talked to Dr. Rahman Ghahremanpour, Director of the Disarmament Studies Group at the Strategic Research Center about this report and its implications.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011 11:43:48 PM
The Threatening Amano Report

Q: It seems that this report has created a new wave of propaganda against Iran’s nuclear program.

A: I don’t think that a new atmosphere has been created. These reports are not unprecedented, just like the sanctions against Iran. I believe that the 5+1 is trying to expand the range of the already imposed sanctions in order to increase their effectiveness.

Even though we cannot say for sure, it seems that the IAEA is also part of this plot. In general, since Amano has become the Secretary General, the direction of all reports regarding Iran’s nuclear program have become closer to the position of the 5+1. In other words, he prepares more negative reports about Iran compared to his predecessor. A cynical view would perhaps claim that he is moving on a path that might lead to announcing that Iran has deviated from its peaceful program.

Q: What were the important issues referred to in Amano’s report?

A: Generally, this report is legally debating the binding characteristic of the IAEA demands. There’s also a part regarding new information on claimed researches which is relatively important. Another part of this report discusses the implementations of code 1/3.

Q: What does the legal debate consist of and why was it brought up in the IAEA report?

A: Similar to the previous reports this report also begins with stating that the IAEA report to the Security Council and their demand for the suspension of enrichment has a legal basis. Paragraphs one, two and three mention the reasons why the requests of the IAEA are mandatory for Iran. Actually, these debates are in response to Iran’s criticism over the IAEA’s political behavior. Iran has always been a critic of the IAEA and believes that this agency has stepped beyond the boundaries of its technical specialties. Therefore, the repetition of the fact that the IAEA requests from Iran are mandatory is in response to this criticism.

Q: The claimed new information about Iran’s deviance from its peaceful nuclear program has created much sensitivity. What is this about?

A: In his recent reports Amano mentioned that he has received new information about the alleged studies. In paragraph 35 of the present report, he mentions that the IAEA has gained new information in the interval between the previous report and the current one which reinforces the claim that Iran is equipping a missile to carry nuclear warheads. Amano’s report contradicts the confirmation of 16 US intelligence agencies in 2007 that claimed that Iran had halted parts of its nuclear program in 2003. He says that he has found evidence that Iran might have continued its program after 2004. The IAEA views in this case are in contrast with the claims of the United States. However, the IAEA has not yet announced how it has reached this conclusion.

Q: What could be the implications of the IAEA claim and how will Iran react to this?

A: The IAEA said that it has found new information and is investigating it; it has also urged Iran on several occasions to explain the documents regarding its alleged efforts. The Islamic Republic considers the mentioned documents as fake, because the original documents have never been handed to Iran and Iranian officials have only seen the electronic versions of them.

Q: What does code 1/3 consist of?

A: This report says that Iran has to implement code 1/3. The IAEA emphasizes that the time frame provided by Iran on the Fordo enrichment facility cannot be accepted by the agency. The main dispute here is on the implementation of the additional 1/3 code. Iran says since code 1/3 has not been implemented, it has no commitment to provide information on the Fordo design before nuclear material is injected into the spring, and it has only provided the IAEA with some information for the sake of confidence building. However, the IAEA says that Iran cannot halt the implementation of code 1/3 unilaterally based on previous safeguard agreements. Iran’s interpretation of the safeguard agreements is not acceptable to the IAEA. Also, in regards to the unannounced inspection of facilities, the IAEA has a new interpretation that is not acceptable to Iran either.

Q: Amano’s report will be discussed in the Board meeting of the IAEA from June 6th to June 10th. What decisions could be made by the board, and what direction will Iran’s nuclear program take?

A: Currently our nuclear issue is not related to the decisions made by the IAEA or its board. That is because our case has been transferred to the Security Council. However one of the main criteria based on which the Security Council makes its decisions are the reports provided by the IAEA. When these reports are negative, they will surely affect the behavior of the Security Council as well.

In addition, it seems that these reports are mostly used for creating an atmosphere. We should remember that the IAEA cares about its credibility and prestige; therefore it gradually reveals what it wants to say. This is because it does not want to damage its credibility in the minds of those who think that the Atomic Agency is not tied up in politics and consider it more accountable compared to some Western countries. Therefore, reports like this could be threatening to us from this perspective.

Q: How do you see the overall international atmosphere, especially in the 5+1, according to this report?

A: It seems that the 5+1 is trying to pursue and intensify the previous atmosphere it has created. Their unwillingness to restart negotiations after the Istanbul talks proves that they are trying to implement the decisions they made previously instead of making new decisions. Therefore we witness the US and Europe intensifying and imposing unilateral sanctions on Iran.

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