Friday, January 13, 2012

'Sketchy IAEA report sets stage for war'

According to a 2009 Wikileaks cable, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano asserted that "he was solidly in the US court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program

Source: Press TV

A former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director has spoken out against the agency's recent report on Iran's nuclear program, saying he does not want to see another war waged based on “recycled, discredited data.”

“In the 24-page document, intended for a restricted distribution but widely available on the Internet, all but three of the items that were offered as proof of a possible nuclear-arms program are either undated or refer to events before 2004,” Robert Kelley wrote in an article titled “Nuclear Arms Charge against Iran Is No Slam Dunk” on the Bloomberg website on Wednesday.

Of the remaining three, he added, two are attributed only to two member states, “so the sourcing is impossible to evaluate.”

Kelley said the remaining allegation was in fact a revival of a two-page document, “purporting to come from Iran,” which the IAEA received in 2009.

“Mohamed ElBaradei, who was then the agency's director general, rejected the information because there was no chain of custody for the paper, no clear source, document markings, date of issue or anything else that could establish its authenticity. What's more, the document contained style errors, suggesting the author was not a native Farsi speaker. It appeared to have been typed using Arabic, rather than a Farsi, word-processing program.”

The IAEA released its latest report on Tehran's nuclear program on November 8, claiming that Iran has been engaged in activities related to developing nuclear weapons before 2003, which “may still be ongoing.”

Iran dismissed the report as "unbalanced, unprofessional and prepared with political motivation and under political pressure mostly by the United States.”

Having already lobbied for the imposition of four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran, the US and its allies have since used the recent IAEA report to slap even stricter unilateral sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

On New Year's Eve, US President Barack Obama signed into law fresh economic sanctions against Iran's Central Bank in an apparent bid to punish foreign companies and banks that do business with the Iranian financial institution.

The European Union followed suit with its foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton threatening Tehran with continuing sanctions. “I expect Iran will realize that we will continue with sanctions. EU members are discussing further sanctions right now,” she said.

The EU foreign ministers are expected to hold a meeting later this month on January 23 to discuss proposed embargo on Iran's oil exports.

The IAEA report has more alarmingly led to calls from various US and Israeli corners for a military strike against Iran.

On December 20, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta claimed that Iran was one year away from building an atomic weapon, threatening that Washington will take every step “necessary” to stop Tehran's nuclear program.

Less than a week later, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said the US military is ready to launch a military strike against Iran, if occasion necessitates.

With the upcoming US presidential election, the Republican candidates have similarly heightened the anti-Iran rhetoric, in an apparent bid to win Zionist votes.

Meanwhile, Israeli officials have also recently stepped up their war rhetoric against Iran. On November 21, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned the "time has come" to deal with Iran. Israeli President Shimon Peres also threatened on November 6 that an attack against Iran is becoming "more and more likely."

The former IAEA director said he is “speaking up” about the flawed IAEA report, “because, as a member of the IAEA's Iraq Action Team in 2003, I learned firsthand how withholding the facts can lead to bloodshed.”

“Having known the details then, though I was not allowed to speak, I feel a certain shared responsibility for the war that killed more than 4,000 Americans and more than 100,000 Iraqis. A private citizen today, I hope to help ensure the facts are clear before the US takes further steps that could lead, intentionally or otherwise, to a new conflagration, this time in Iran,” he said.

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