September 17, 2009
The Associated Press reports today that “experts” at the United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency now “are in agreement that Tehran has the ability to make a nuclear bomb and is on the way to developing a missile system able to carry an atomic warhead, according to a secret report.”
|Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei.|
The document says Iran has “sufficient information” to build a bomb and says Iran is likely to “overcome problems” on developing a delivery system, according to the AP.
In February, the IAEA reported that Iran had not converted the low-grade uranium that it has produced into weapon-grade uranium. “The Austrian Press Agency quoted an IAEA expert as saying that the uranium substances that Iran has produced at its Natanz enrichment facility have been carefully recorded and remote cameras have been installed to supervise part of the stockpile,” The Hindu reported on February 22.
Iran has denied accusations by the United States and its allies that it has been engaged in a clandestine nuclear weapons program.
In August, Iran indicated it would continue to co-operate with the United Nations nuclear agency, a foreign ministry spokesman told the BBC. Hassan Qashqavi said that UN inspectors were allowed access to Iran’s nearly complete nuclear reactor at Arak. “All our nuclear activities have been within the framework of the agency and the NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty)… ElBaradei has always confirmed Iran’s co-operation with the agency,” Qashqavi told reporters.
Earlier this month, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei condemned allegations that the agency is withholding information on Iran’s nuclear program. In “a thinly-veiled reference to recent Israeli criticism. ElBaradei was reacting to increasing Israeli pressure on the Vienna-based agency that coincides with the nearing of a September deadline set by the United States to pressure Iran into nuclear talks,” Earth Times reported on September 7. In his latest report on Iran, ElBaradei said the country had been more cooperative in letting his agency monitor the uranium enrichment plant in Natanz and a heavy water reactor under construction.
Israel accuses ElBaradei and the IAEA of “dereliction of duty” and claims he deliberately withheld incriminating information on Iran’s nuclear plans in a report published in late August.
The IAEA document in question was apparently released by the agency today.
In response, Iran attempted to enlist the support of developing countries at the IAEA for a proposed ban of attacks on its nuclear sites. “Tehran wanted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to pass a resolution prohibiting armed attacks or threats of armed attacks on nuclear facilities in operation or under construction. But the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), comprised of developing countries, refused to support this proposal, leaving open the question about the support Iran could get at the general meeting,” the AFP reports today.
[efoods]On September 16, Newsweek reported that the U.S. intelligence community believes Iran has not restarted its nuclear-weapons development program. “This latest U.S. intelligence-community assessment is potentially controversial for several reasons, not the least of which is that it is at odds with more alarming assessments propounded by key U.S. allies, most notably Israel. Officials of Israel’s conservative-led government have been delivering increasingly dire assessments of Iran’s nuclear progress and have leaked shrill threats about a possible Israeli military attack on Iranian nuclear facilities,” Mark Hosenball writes.
Israel has insisted for years that Iran is developing nuclear weapons and has threatened to attack the Islamic republic. “Israel is drawing up plans to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and is prepared to launch a strike without backing from the US,” The Times Online reported in December, 2008. Ehud Olmert, then Israeli prime minister, reportedly asked the US for a green light to attack Iranian facilities as recently as May, 2008.
On September 16, the globalist Bipartisan Policy Center released a report calling for “crippling sanctions” on Iran and said if sanctions fail “the White House will have to begin serious consideration of the option of a U.S.-led military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.”
In April of this year, Israel indicated its military is preparing to launch a massive aerial assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities within days of being given the go-ahead. “Israel wants to know that if its forces were given the green light they could strike at Iran in a matter of days, even hours. They are making preparations on every level for this eventuality. The message to Iran is that the threat is not just words,” a defense official told The Times Online.
Russian PM Vladimir Putin has warned Israel and the United States against attacking Iran. Putin said any attack on Iran would be “very dangerous, unacceptable” and would lead to “an explosion of terrorism,” the BBC reported on September 11. “I doubt very much that such strikes would achieve their stated goal,” he added.
Earlier this week, former UN ambassador and leading neocon John R. Bolton said sanctions against Iran will fail. He said that “whatever momentum there was for additional sanctions on Iran … has now disappeared,” Bolton said during a panel discussion Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
In August, Bolton said a military strike against Iran will be the only way to prevent Iran from attacking Israel. He also predicted Israel would attack Iran before the end of the year (see the following Russia Today video).
In 2007, Bolton said “that he saw no alternative to a pre-emptive strike on suspected nuclear facilities in the country,” according to the Jerusalem Post. In addition, he called for the assassination of Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Increasingly, it appears Israel, the United States, or both countries will attack Iran. It is significant that the IAEA has now changed course and believes Iran is working on a nuclear weapon and a delivery system. Such developments make an attack more likely and probably before the end of the year as Bolton has predicted.