UN Reaches Agreement To Resume Nuclear Probe In Iran
The Associated Press reported International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano said the agreement with chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili will allow access to sites, scientists and documents concerning the nation's nuclear activity.
Thus far, Iran has said its reactors are solely for power and medical uses, but the U.N. has pressed on for the probe under suspicions the country has been developing nuclear weapons.
From the AP:
Western diplomats are skeptical of Iran's willingness to open past and present activities to full perusal, believing it would only reveal what they suspect and Tehran denies — that the Islamic Republic has researched and developed components of a nuclear weapons program. They say that Tehran's readiness to honor any agreement it has signed is the true test of its willingness to cooperate
The United States is among those skeptics. In a statement released soon after Amano's announcement, Robert A. Wood, America's chief delegate to the nuclear agency, said Washington appreciated Amano's efforts but remained "concerned by the urgent obligation for Iran to take concrete steps to cooperate fully with the verification efforts of the IAEA, based on IAEA verification practices."
"We urge Iran to take this opportunity to resolve all outstanding concerns about the nature of its nuclear program," said the statement. "Full and transparent cooperation with the IAEA is the first logical step."
Meanwhile, The Los Angeles Times reported Israel also voiced some concerns about the agreement.
"Israel is extremely skeptical about this whole business because of Iran's history and record, where they have had a policy of almost routine deception when it comes to their relationship with" the International Atomic Energy Agency, said a government official who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and requested anonymity.
"They are serial violators of their agreements," the official said, noting that Iran previously try to hide the existence of nuclear facilities in Qom and Natanz from the IAEA.
Israel will not be among the major world powers meeting with Iran in Baghdad this week to discuss Iran's nuclear future. The primary goal for those six countries—the U.S., Britain, Germany, Russia, China and France—is an agreement stopping Iran's practice of enriching uranium to a point where it could easily become the fissile core of nuclear arms.
That may not be good enough for Israeli Prime Minister Benajmine Netanyahu. "Iran wants to destroy Israel and it is developing nuclear weapons to fulfill that goal," Netanyahu said at a conference in Jerusalem. "Against this malicious intention, leading world powers need to display determination and not weakness. They should not make any concessions to Iran."