by Tahir Mustafa (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 51, No. 5, Dhu al-Hijjah, 1443)
Four days before the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors was to meet in Vienna starting June 6, the agency’s director general, Rafael Grossi visited Israel. Why he went to meet the prime minister and officials of a country that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) raised serious questions.
The purported function of the IAEA is to bring countries into compliance with NPT regulations. The zionist regime is clearly not in compliance because it has not signed the non-proliferation treaty. It is also not a secret that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons.
Grossi, however, failed to raise the issue of Israel’s nuclear weapons and its refusal to sign the NPT. So, what was the purpose of his visit unless it was to get “instructions” from the war criminals in Tel Aviv against Iran?
His visit to this outlaw regime was even more disturbing because it came four days before the IAEA Board of governors was to meet to consider Iran’s obligations under the NPT as well as its compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). For the record, the US under Donald Trump tore up the JCPOA agreement in May 2018 and imposed a raft of sanctions against Iran.
Despite US violation of its international obligations that it had signed because the JCPOA was endorsed by the UN Security Council, Iran continued to uphold its side of the bargain. For a whole year, it waited for the other signatories, primarily the Europeans—Britain, France and Germany—to fulfill their obligations.
The only option left for Iran was to exercise its rights. Under articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, Iran has the right to scale back its commitments of restricting uranium enrichment to 3.67 per cent. That is precisely what it did. Tehran had no obligation to continue to adhere to restrictions imposed on it when the other parties failed to fulfill their obligations. Instead of providing sanctions relief, they continued to go along with America’s illegal sanctions.
The draft resolution presented by the US, Britain, France and Germany under pressure from the zionist entity was passed by the IAEA criticizing Islamic Iran for ‘failing’ in its obligations. Such mind-boggling hypocrisy is typical of western regimes and the zionist war criminals.
The IAEA also raised the issue of Iran’s nuclear activities that Grossi alleged have not been satisfactorily explained. The Islamic Republic disputes these allegations. It responded to all of Grossi’s queries when the IAEA delegation visited Tehran. Further, Iran has voluntarily accepted safeguards beyond its legal obligations under the NPT. It granted access to international inspectors who can visit any site without prior notification.
Iran had also allowed the agency to install additional surveillance cameras at various sites in Iran. To understand the scope of surveillance, consider this. Iran accounts for only 3 percent of global nuclear activity, it has no nuclear bombs and has repeatedly announced it has no intention to acquire them but more than a quarter of all monitoring activity is focused on Iran. This is unprecedented in global nuclear monitoring.
Despite such close cooperation with the watchdog agency, the IAEA continues to make scandalous allegations against Iran allegedly for failing to cooperate. The agency says it is not satisfied with the answers Iran has provided to its probe of three sites.
Such allegations are nothing new. Claims to the contrary notwithstanding, the IAEA is not an independent body. Like the UN Security Council, it is a political instrument of western regimes, especially the US and now increasingly the zionist entity, to serve their agenda. Iran has repeatedly warned the agency to confine its activities to technical aspects and not indulge in politics.
The anti-Iran resolution was presented by four regimes three of whom— US, Britain and France—are nuclear-armed states. Have they fulfilled their obligations under the NPT to reduce their stockpiles of weapons? Perish the thought.
Instead, the US has embarked on a massive nuclear modernisation program costing billions of dollars in violation of its NPT obligations. It is also the only country in the world to have used nuclear weapons, not once but twice. The US also used depleted uranium shells against Iraqi civilians in January 1991 killing tens of thousands of people, poisoning its soil and water. With such a gory record, the Americans have the gall to accuse Iran of wrongdoing.
And what about the nuclear-armed zionist entity? It stubbornly refuses to sign the NPT but pressures the agency against Iran from the sidelines. Can it get any more absurd than that: an entity that has not signed the NPT but is able to exert pressure on the IAEA?
Zionist rulers have publicly threatened to attack Islamic Iran and its nuclear installations. Such threats are against international law and the UN Charter.
Should the zionists make such a mistake, they will be signing their own death warrant. With its long-range missiles, Islamic Iran is capable of obliterating Tel Aviv and Haifa from the face of the earth. The coordinates of Israel’s nuclear weapons site at Dimona and its chemical weapons depots in Haifa are known to Iran and Hizbullah. Both have the precise coordinates of locations of these weapons of mass destruction. Far from providing protection, they will prove Israel’s undoing.
For more than a year, Iran and the P4+1 group of countries were engaged in discussions to revive the JCPOA. Iran refused to talk directly to the US since the latter had unilaterally walked away from its obligations. Last March, they had finalized all the technical details. Only political decisions were left. The major sticking points were the US decision to lift all sanctions against Iran in a verifiable manner. It also included removing the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps from its terror list. The US has balked.
The Joe Biden regime is playing politics. Faced with an economic crisis at home and congressional elections in October that the Democrats are fearful of losing, it refuses to take the difficult political decisions. Following his meeting on June 25 with European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdullahian said Tehran was ready to resume talks to revive the JCPOA. He again reiterated that the US must take the necessary political decisions to return to full compliance with the JCPOA. Two days later, it was announced that the talks would initially be held in a Persian Gulf country (meaning Qatar).
Talks on June 28 held in Doha ended within an hour when the US refused to guarantee that it would not abandon the deal again. It also failed to guarantee that all sanctions against Iran would be lifted. Iran does not talk directly with the US but through the Europeans who act as go-betweens. The talks sputtered but ultimately failed because the US refused to fulfill its obligations continuing the failed policy of "maximum pressure" launched by the previous Trump regime.
For Iran, the choice is clear. It should never trust the US nor allow IAEA inspectors anywhere near its nuclear sites until the agency and the western regimes manipulating it change their hostile attitude. Further, it may be time for the leadership of the Islamic Republic to rethink their policy of not acquiring nuclear weapons. After all, the US has not dared to launch military strikes against countries with nuclear weapons: North Korea, Russia etc.