* The potential for ridicule is enormous. One day, when sanity is restored and our respective governments understand the nature of our enemy, people will ask “who would trust a guy named Mohammed to protect him from the Muhammedans?”
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei admitted yesterday that as a “watchdog,” he’s completely worthless.
This clown has been playing us far too long, he’s been obfuscating, prevaricating, making excuses of the worst kind and is firmly in the Muhammedan camp, where else could he possibly be?
The UN atomic watchdog said Thursday it was in the dark about Iran’s disputed nuclear programme, as its 35-member board seemed divided on how to get Tehran to shed more light on its activities.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “has so far not been able to verify some important aspects of Iran’s nuclear programme,” its director general Mohamed ElBaradei told a board meeting here.
He specifically cited key questions related to the scope and nature of Iran’s centrifuge enrichment activities, “as well as those relevant to alleged studies and other activities that could have military applications”.
As a result, the UN watchdog was “unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities,” ElBaradei complained.
The Egyptian-born diplomat noted that the IAEA had seen an increased level of cooperation from Iran in answering questions about the past, but its knowledge of Tehran’s current programme has “diminished” since 2006.
Furthermore, Iran’s cooperation was more “reactive than pro-active,” he lamented.
Western countries described ElBaradei’s findings as “disturbing”, arguing that tougher sanctions were needed to force Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, a potential pathway to the atom bomb, and make a full confession about the nature of its nuclear activities, both past and present.
“Despite four years of intensive investigation... the IAEA has stated that its knowledge of Iran’s nuclear programme is diminishing,” the US ambassador to the IAEA, Gregory Schulte, told board members.
Schulte accused Iran of deliberately trying to stave off further UN sanctions by offering only piecemeal cooperation. And he said there was little hope of greater transparency in the future.
“We fear that the next few weeks will not yield much more from Iran than we’ve seen in the last few months or, for that matter, the last five years,” Schulte.
The so-called EU-3 of France, Germany and Britain was similarly concerned.
“We’re disappointed that cooperation by Iran is only partial and reactive,” said French ambassador Francois-Xavier Deniau.
“Waiting is not an option,” he said. “Under these conditions, we believe it it is necessary to set a deadline to the process and that that deadline be in a few weeks, as proposed by the director general.”
But not everyone agreed.
The so-called non-aligned countries, headed by Cuba, described the progress shown by Iran so far as “a very positive step,” said Cuban ambassador Norma Goicochea Estenoz.
* LOL! Surely Cuba would have our best interests at heart, no?
She reiterated Cuba’s long-held position that the Iranian dossier should never have been referred to the UN Security Council and that it should go back to the IAEA, effectively meaning no more sanctions.
Diplomats attending the meeting, which was expected to continue on Friday, said that Russia and China, both permanent members of the Security Council, had similarly “emphasised the positive aspects of Iran’s cooperation.”
Nevertheless, they too called on Iran to suspend enrichment and allow more intrusive inspections by the IAEA.
For the west, the main bone of contention in the nuclear stand-off is Iran’s adamant refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, which can be used not only to produce nuclear fuel, but also make nuclear weapons.
In fact, Tehran has actually stepped up such activities, flying in the face of repeated UN demands to stop.
Iran insists it has an inalienable right to pursue such activities in order to generate electricity for a growing population.
And Iran’s UN envoy to the IAEA, Ali-Asghar Soltanieh, warned that any talk of possible sanctions would be “counterproductive.”
The next step on the road to possible sanctions is a widely anticipated report by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana on the Iran issue.
* Another flake of the first degree…
Solana has been trying to persuade Tehran to resume talks on suspending uranium enrichment in exchange for a package of political and economic incentives, but Tehran has refused to offer concessions.
Solana said he would meet Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in London next week.
The structure attacked in Syria was in fact a bomb assembly plant is the fact that the satellite photos taken after the bombing clearly show that the Syrians made an effort to bury the entire site under piles of earth. “They did so because of the lethal nature of the material that was in the structure, and that can be plutonium,” he said. That may also be the reason they refused to allow IAEA inspectors to visit the site and take samples of the earth, which would give away their secret.
*Just a few weeks ago Israel called for the toothless watchdog to be sacked:
A senior Israeli minister has called for the sacking of Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog.
Deputy PM Shaul Mofaz said the Egyptian head of the International Atomic Energy Agency had endangered world peace by neglecting Iran’s nuclear programme.
His comments come days before the IAEA is to publish its latest Iran report.
Mr ElBaradei has said Iran’s nuclear programme is not an immediate threat and if it wanted to build a nuclear bomb it would need years to do so.
The IAEA report will help determine whether the United Nations imposes a third set of sanctions on Tehran.
“The policies followed by ElBaradei endanger world peace. His irresponsible attitude of sticking his head in the sand over Iran’s nuclear programme should lead to his impeachment,” Mr Mofaz said during a visit to Washington.
Israel is a member of the IAEA, but it is not itself a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which attempts to limit the spread of nuclear weapons.
It is widely believed to currently be the only nuclear-armed state in the conflict riven Middle East region.
The U.S. provided Israel with information about Syrian air defenses before Israel attacked a suspected nuclear site in Syria, Aviation Week & Space Technology is reporting in its Nov. 26 edition.
The U.S. was monitoring the electronic emissions coming from Syria during Israel’s Sept. 6 attack, and while there was no active American engagement in the operation, there was advice provided, according to military and aerospace industry officials.
The German connection
By Benjamin Weinthal
BERLIN – In early 2005, German customs police raided a series of German firms involved in a clandestine relationship with Vero, a Berlin-based front company that was illegally supplying nulcear technology and equipment to Iran. The smuggling operation involved 50 German companies and used a nuclear reactor in the Russian city of Rostov to hide the fact that it was supplying equipment to Bushehr, a port city in southern Iran.
Bushehr is the site of a feverish attempt by Russians and Iranians to rebuild Iran’s nuclear reactors.