Sunday, February 05, 2006

IAEA Board Passed Resolution on Iran.

The IAEA Board of Governors passed a resolution requesting the IAEA Director General to report to the UN Security Council all IAEA reports and resolutions, as adopted, relating to the implementation of safeguards in Iran.

The resolution does not in any way claim that Iran is actually building a bomb as many people would think. Just that the world wishes for more translucency from the Iranians on the matter. (read the full resolution for yourself here pdf file.)

In fact the exact wording of the resolution describes a "lack of confidence" in Iran's intentions. It does seem a rather strange charge to put before the UN security council for it is hard to see how a "lack of confidence" can be classified as a crime.

George Bush has reacted with pleasure to the announcement by the IAEA but he echoed the sentiments of his recent State of the Union address to Congress, saying the IAEA vote would not affect Iran's right to civilian nuclear power. "Iran's true interests lie in working with the international community to enjoy the benefits of peaceful nuclear energy," he said.

The Iranians have reacted strongly as expected by saying it will no longer allow snap inspections of its nuclear sites. However, an Iranian diplomat said that the president could only make such an order after a letter expressing Iran's intention had been received by the International Atomic Energy Agency at its headquarters in Vienna. Such a letter was due to be delivered late last night.

Javad Vaidi, head of the Iranian delegation to the IAEA, said the "resolution is politically motivated since it is not based on any legal or technical grounds" and announced Teheran's defiant response.

It appears from wording of the IAEA resolution that Iran has not in fact broken any rules of NPT and there is still absolutely no evidence that Iran is engaging in any desire to create a nuclear weapon. The Iranians have now reacted by refusing to continue to implement the voluntary additional protocol which as stated is voluntary.

The resolution was backed by 27 countries on the 35-member board, including Russia and China. Five abstained and the only dissenting voices were Syria, Cuba and Venezuela.

Military options against Iran by the UN security council seem to be almost non existent and sanctions would hurt the west as much as Iran by possibly pushing the price of oil above 100 dollars a barrel not to mention the potential damage to any chance of a peaceful conclusion to the charade in Iraq. So it seems the effort is more symbolic than productive. Sanctions will not be implemented as China will not support any move towards sanctions and the Chinese having a veto over any resolution will make the whole event nothing more than a television spectacle that has the potential to create more problems for the West and push the Iranians further into isolation than they already are.

Some basic questions and answers about the IAEA ruling and the current stand off between Iran and the West can be found here