The International Atomic Energy Agency, or I-A-E-A, has published a new report on Iran’s nuclear program. It says that Iran is continuing its work on technologies that can assist to the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons. The report also says the I-A-E-A’s knowledge about Iran’s current nuclear program is diminishing as a result of Iran’s failure to cooperate fully and transparently with the I-A-E-A.
U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says Iran’s decision to answer some of the many questions raised by the I-A-E-A is a ploy:
“While the Iranians are trying to turn everybody’s attention to their partial answers on some of their past activities, the ability of the I-A-E-A to gain insight into what they’re currently doing on the ground in Iran with respect to their nuclear program is starting to diminish. And that is certainly troubling. It’s troubling to the rest of the world, and certainly the members of the [United Nations] Security Council and the P-5 + 1 are going to take note of the fact that Iran is continuing with its uranium enrichment program, in defiance of what the international community has asked Iran to do, and that is to suspend those activities.”
In 2006, the U.S. joined Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China to offer Iran a package of incentives and the opportunity to negotiate on a wide range of issues, if it suspended its uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. White House spokesman Dana Perino says that the I-A-E-A report makes it clear that Iran is continuing to “walk away” from that offer:
“President [George W.] Bush authorized a change in U.S. policy that for the first time in twenty- eight years would have allowed Secretary [of State Condoleezza] Rice to meet with her Iranian counterpart anytime, anywhere, if they suspend. They have chosen not to.”
As a result of Iran’s failure to cooperate, the United States and its allies will pursue the adoption of additional U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran. “Unfortunately,” says Ms. Perino, “this report makes clear that Iran seems uninterested in working with the rest of the world, and the current Iranian government continues to push Iran deeper into isolation.” The Iranian people, she says, deserve better.