Meet the new boss, not the same as the old boss? Under new chief, IAEA suggests Iran actively working on nuclear weapons

This could be the start of a refreshing change at the IAEA, but much remains to be seen. “IAEA Fears Iran Working Now on Nuclear Warhead,” by Mark Heinrich for Reuters, February 18:

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog fears Iran may be working now to develop a nuclear-armed missile, the agency said on Thursday, throwing independent weight behind Western suspicions of an active Iranian weapons program.

In unusually blunt language surfacing under new chief Yukiya Amano, an International Atomic Energy Agency report for the first time suggested Iran was actively chasing nuclear weapons capability rather than merely having done so in the past.

The IAEA seemed to be cautiously going public with suspicions arising from a classified agency analysis leaked in part last year which concluded that Iran has already honed explosives expertise relevant to a workable nuclear weapon.

The report also confirmed Iran had produced its first, small batch of uranium enriched to a higher purity — 20 percent.

Both developments will intensify pressure on Iran to prove it is not covertly bent on “weaponising” enrichment by allowing unfettered access for IAEA inspectors and investigators, something it rejects in protest at U.N. sanctions.

The United States is already leading a push for the U.N. Security Council to impose a fourth round of sanctions on Iran because of suspicions that it may be developing nuclear weapons, and has received declarations of support from Russia, which has until now been reluctant to expand sanctions.

Tehran says its nuclear program is meant only to yield electricity or radio-isotopes for agriculture or medicine. It took a diametrically opposing view of the report’s conclusions.

“The IAEA’s new report confirmed Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities and the country’s non-deviation toward military purposes,” Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told the state news agency IRNA.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the United States did not understand why Iran had refused to “come to the table and engage constructively” over its nuclear program, adding: “You have to draw some conclusions from that.” […]

IAEA’s new chief, Yukiya Amano, is seen as more inclined to confront Iran than his predecessor, Mohamed ElBaradei, who retired on December 1.

“Now we see from (available intelligence) that certain activities may have continued after 2004,” said a senior official close to the IAEA. “We want to find out from Iran what they’ve had to do with these nuclear explosive-related activities.”

The U.S. director of National Intelligence concluded last year that Iran would not be technically able to devise a nuclear weapon before 2013. But a new intelligence estimate is due soon….

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Comments

  1. says

    jewcat – my thoughts exactly.

    It sounds like the new “boss” might be Japanese, which would explain taking a dim view to nuclear proliferation, esp. by a country which would almost surely use them ASAP.

  2. says

    Amano was born in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, in 1947. He started his studies at the University of Tokyo in 1968. After graduating from the Faculty of Law, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in April 1972. He specialized in the international disarmament issue and nuclear nonproliferation efforts. In 1973–1974, he studied at the University of Franche-Comté and in 1974–1975, at the University of Nice, France.

    source wikipedia

  3. says

    “IAEA Fears Iran Working Now on Nuclear Warhead”

    Well, duh!!! As BlueRay commented in his reply to jewcat above, and as has been the subject of numerous previous discussions on these pages, Mohamed El Baradei was likely sympathetic in his heart to the idea of allowing Muslim nations to possess nuclear weapons. His dissembling on the issue as head of the IAEA, charged with preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, amounts to dereliction of duty. He should have been removed long ago in favor of someone who was not so obviously biased. Yukiya Amano will need to be a man of courage and backbone to stand up to Iran. Let’s hope he is.

  4. says

    “U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the United States did not understand why Iran had refused to “come to the table and engage constructively” over its nuclear program, adding: “You have to draw some conclusions from that.” […]

    REALLY NOW ,P.J. Crowley?
    Just CAN’T Understand why “Iran had refused to come to the table and engage constructively.
    MAYBE,PJ,THEY REALLY MEAN WHAT THEY SAY.
    Tommorrow P.J. may give us the revelation that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

  5. says

    “U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the United States did not understand why Iran had refused to “come to the table and engage constructively” over its nuclear program, adding: “You have to draw some conclusions from that.” […]

    REALLY NOW ,P.J. Crowley?
    Just CAN’T Understand why “Iran had refused to come to the table and engage constructively.
    MAYBE,PJ,THEY REALLY MEAN WHAT THEY SAY.
    Tommorrow P.J. may give us the revelation that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

  6. says

    U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the United States did not understand why Iran had refused to “come to the table and engage constructively” over its nuclear program, adding: “You have to draw some conclusions from that.” […]

    I see…

    “U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the United States does not understand Iran”.

  7. says

    Only complete idiots believed that Iran was A)not farther down the road in their nuclear program than they stated publicly and B) have/had no intentions of building a nuclear bomb.

    This administration and the prior 2 administrations have completely dropped the ball on Iran. Sanctions…what a joke. This is going to require another war…like we need or can afford one…I don’t think we can afford not to do something here.

    Start by telling China to take a hike with their exports to us until they stop blocking efforts in shutting down Iran. Russia and everyone else on the almost completely useless U.N. security council is on board for stronger sanctions.

    We, as a country need to grow a pair. Ronald Reagan anyone…JFK…a real man in the White House would be real nice right now. Hell, I think I’d be happier with Hillary in the White House right now.

  8. says

    We don’t need to know much more about Iran’s intentions beyond the fact that they have thousands of uranium centrifuges, do we? The real question is why the U.S. saw fit to invade Iraq and force a regime change to create a secular democratic republic when it left its next-door neighbor Iran alone so it could forever work to subvert it. If we do Tweedledum, we need to do Tweedledee, and Shock and Awe Iran to destroy its military infrastructure, then invade and force a regime change there too, after which we need to recognize the need to maintain a military presence for a generation while we take the women and children away from the men to break the endless cycle of male supremacy, and give them good secular educations using free Internet terminals and schools manned by Westerners. See my site for my plan for defeating radical Islam and its father fundamentalist Islam at http://go.to/islamhistory

  9. says

    The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)
    also available in French intro+Chapter 1 so far
    “Le Guide Politiquement Incorrect de l’Islam’ disponible en Français intro+chapitre 1
    don’ t hesitate to share this with your french speaking friends using social networks buttons available on the website or email share options.
    http://www.avraidire.eu/category/islam/robert-spencer-islam/le-guide-politiquement-incorrect-de-lislam-robert-spencer-islam-islam/

  10. says

    It is very difficult for a Mohamad to be judgemental on this issue. The problem is that we never answered the difficult question that wasasked by the Pakistani “Nuke’em all” scientists called Dr,/Allaha/Khan – “Why shouldn’t the MoSlums have the right to the Nuclear weapons?”