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   Iran Complains of US Negative Role

  Signaling its willingness to temporarily suspend its controversial nuclear enrichment program, Iran complained of US’s negative role through its “unfounded accusations” even as UN bodies protested parts of a Congressional report as “outrageous and dishonest."
 

 

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Signaling its willingness to temporarily suspend its controversial nuclear enrichment program, Iran complained of US’s negative role through its “unfounded accusations” even as UN bodies protested parts of a Congressional report as “outrageous and dishonest.” Iran says it is willing to negotiate its nuclear program with the EU but says that it must be “free from any kind of threat, pressure or any preconditions” even if “the U.S. poisoned the positive environment.” Iran 's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani and the EU's foreign policy representative Javier Solana have already held two rounds of talks in Vienna and are to go in for another session soon but it is not clear if Iran will agree to a time-bound suspension.

Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors have protested to the US government about parts of a House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence committee report. Written by a senior aide to IAEA Director El Baradei, the letter accused the report of suggesting that the Iranian nuclear fuel program to be more advanced that reported by the IIAEA and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The IAEA letter also too “strong exception to the incorrect and misleading assertion” that the UN body was going to remove a senior nuclear safeguards inspector from watching Iran . It rejected the report’s “outrageous and dishonest” suggestion that the IAEA removes inconvenient from Iran so it can prevent them “from telling the whole truth” on the Iranian nuclear program.

A House committee spokesperson rejected the protest saying that the errors pointed out was in a caption and not part of the main text and said that there was no ‘substantive” accusations from IAEA and also there were “no errors in the report.” While the committee itself has not debated or voted on the report, the spokesperson said that the House will ponder on its response. A democratic member wrote to his 20 colleagues on the panel advising that they discount the report because it uses “analytical shortcuts” to present Iran as a more immediate threat that it really is.

The IAEA and US disagreed violently over findings of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons program in Iraq . Washington had cited these as reasons to invade Iraq in 2003 but now with the Saddam Hussein Government overthrown, there is virtually no evidence to substantiate those pr-war claims.

Since its investigations in 2003, the IAEA found Iran to be enriching nuclear fuel and had with them several centrifuges sources from disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan. Because of the credentials of Khan and his sale of technology to North Korea and Libya, both of whom had accepted pursuit of a nuclear weapons program, the US and EU are worried that Iran may be on the same path. As a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran argues it has the right to enrich nuclear fuel. However, being a signatory of the NPT, Iran also has an obligation to disclose purchases and be more transparent—it has failed to achieve this on both counts. The West is worried that its extremist President, who has made several disparaging comments about Israel and overt threats on the destruction of the Jewish state, may follow through with his hate-mongering even though there is only circumstantial evidence to suggest a nuclear weapons program.

While maintaining its hard-line policy on Iran , the neo-conservatives in the US policy establishment have been conveniently soft on Pakistan ’s refusal to provide access to Khan. Pakistan claims that Khan operated alone and for profiteering purposes and says that he is under house arrest. While refusing any access to Khan, Pakistan has not revealed how Khan had access to official planes, chartered aircraft, and official documents in his transactions with Libya, North Korea, Iran, and one other West Asian country believed to be Saudi Arabia. Besides, no one knows what technologies Khan sold to Iran . With Khan reportedly sick with prostrate cancer, time may be running out to find the truth.

The US is unwilling to ask this question because it may fear that an answer absolving Iran will force it to back down from its war-mongering. Similarly, Pakistan may be afraid that Khan may out information of official complicity and debunking President Pervez Musharraf’s repeated denial of official sanction. Even Iran may be afraid that Khan may reveal controversial discussions that may have gone on behind the scenes. Meanwhile, no one knows how much money Khan made, where his monies are stored, and what exactly was sold.