Dr Mohamed El-Baradei, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been criticized for not speaking the whole truth about Iran’s nuclear programme. The criticism comes in the wake of Dr El-Baradei’s statement that Iran’s concealment of its nuclear programme for some 18 years sets it apart from all other nations.
Concerned that Dr El-Baradei’s statement gives succour to those who are calling for sanctions or military intervention against Iran, Professor Abbas Edalat of Imperial College London,said today:
"I believe that getting the facts of this situation right is vital if we are to prevent an illegal pre-emptive strike against Iran. To tell only half of the truth on this matter gives a distorted picture in the international community and plays into the hands of those who are pushing for an attack on Iran.
"Dr El-Baradai highlights the fact that Iran concealed its nuclear program for some 18 years, but fails to mention what prompted Iran to conceal its programme. In reality, in systematic violation of Article IV of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the US in the post-revolution years after 1979, pressured all western and non-western governments and companies to withdraw from or cancel their nuclear collaboration contracts with Iran. In June 1981, Israel bombed and destroyed the French-built Osiraq nuclear plant in Iraq with impunity. In addition Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons, provided by the west, against Iranian military and civilians, whilst Iran’s protests to the UN fell on deaf ears.
"In response to such gross injustices in which the West was complicit, the Iranian leaders decided that the only way to develop its civilian nuclear technology was to conceal it and use the black market. During this period some breaches of the IAEA Safeguards were committed by Iran but despite these breaches, Iran has fundamentally met its obligations under the NPT. Indeed, as required by the IAEA safeguards at the time, Iran was only obliged to declare its activities in the two nuclear plants in Arak and Natanz six months before nuclear fuel was going to be introduced there. In 2002, when these nuclear plants were disclosed to the world, Iran was still four years away from any enrichment.
"The IAEA has admitted that they have found no shred of evidence suggesting a diversion of the Iranian nuclear programme into a weapons programme. By expressing only part of the truth, Dr El-Baradei provides ammunitions to those in Israel and Washington who are only interested to use the Iranian nuclear issue as a pretext for military intervention. Dr El-Baradei again finds himself with the weight of history on his shoulders. I believe that in order to come to a correct and impartial judgment on this matter it is necessary for him to furnish himself with all the facts and speak the whole truth."
... Payvand News - 3/9/07 ... --