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Iran Daily, August 19: Nuclear Shift? Tehran Lashes Out at International Atomic Energy Agency

Iran Daily, August 19: Nuclear Shift? Tehran Lashes Out at International Atomic Energy Agency
August 19
08:08 2014

In a notable shift in nuclear rhetoric, Iran’s media and former officials shifted from praise to criticism of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.

On Sunday the regime hailed the visit of IAEA head Yukiya Amano to Tehran, quoting his comments on a “short but useful” meeting over arrangements for supervision and inspections of nuclear facilities. It noted his discussions with President Rouhani, Foreign Minister Zarif, and the head of the Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi.

However, regime outlets are now damning the IAEA for alleged duplicity and hostility towards. Press TV features an interview with a “political commentator”, Mostafa Khoshcheshm, who denounces the IAEA for being directed by “US pressures”.

Iran’s former Ambassador to the Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told a forum on nuclear policies on Monday that “the IAEA is presently ruled by political debates and intelligence agencies.

He also put out the allegation that that the IAEA Board of Governors is under the influence of Western countries, and said Iran’s efforts to reach agreements with the IAEA “were blocked by certain states”: “We conducted over 100 hours of negotiations in Tehran in response to the issues raised by the IAEA and prepared a 117-paged response, but they raised new topics in the last moment to rock the boat.”

The criticism of the IAEA followed statements by President Rouhani and other officials on Sunday setting out “red lines” for nuclear negotiations with the 5+1 Powers, ruling out the inclusion of ballistic missiles in an agreement. After his meeting with Amano, Salehi specifically called for closure on issues such as Iran’s possession of explosive bridge-wire detonators.

However, the shift in rhetoric may come from a wider context — last week the Supreme Leader denounced talks with the US as “useless” and said the Americans could not be trusted in negotiations.

While holding back from any denunciation of the US and maintaining that negotiations will proceed in the autumn, the Rouhani Government has moved cautiously since Ayatollah Khamenei’s statement. Foreign Minister Zarif cautioned this weekend that a comprehensive agreement might not be reached before the expiry of interim arrangements on November 24, and he said yesterday that all sanctions must be lifted on Tehran for any hope of resolution.

Before Monday’s shift, Iran relations with the IAEA had been marked for months by progress. The two sides agreed guidelines in November and February for inspection of nuclear facilities and uranium mines, and Tehran agreed to provide information to the Agency on the detonators, which Western countries have alleged could be used for development of a nuclear weapon.

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Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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6 Comments

  1. Pak
    Pak August 19, 08:43

    Legendary Iranian poetess Simin Behbahani passes away
    http://www.ibna.ir/vdccmpqie2bqx18.-ya2.html

    Reply to this comment
  2. Andre De Angelis
    Andre De Angelis August 19, 11:03

    The Iranians are justified in their position and complaint. Yukiya Amano has been a shameless and blatant political operator and water carrier for Washington. This began with his election, a controversial and highly contested affair in which the US pulled out all stops to get him the job.

    Wikileaks revealed his gratitude to Washington and his commitment to serve their interests viz a viz Iran.

    When he took over from Al Baradei, he dusted of all of the flimsy accusations against Iran that Al Baradei had already investigated or dismissed as unsubstantiated and treated them all as credible and unresolved.

    On numerous cases, he has demonstrated a refusal to put the allegations to rest. With Parchin, the Iranians offered to allow comprehensive inspections of the facility so long as the IAEA agreed that the matter would be considered resolved. Amano refused that condition, meaning that the IAEA would continue to report the matter as unresolved.

    More recently, Amano refused to close the book on other “outstanding issues” that Iran actually answered, insisting that he would not report any matters as resolved until all matters were resolved.

    The guy is a shameless propagandist.

    Reply to this comment
  3. incyprus
    incyprus August 19, 14:34

    And you can see the hired cyber grease workers are at damning of IAEA too, while they were silent a week ago, they had nothing to say.

    There is only one thing that works in islamic republic, the propaganda machinary.

    Shitty regimes all read the same manual….

    Reply to this comment

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