Archive for the ‘Yukiya Amano’ category

Top Iranian Official Denounces UN Nuclear Watchdog Chief Yukiya Amano, Confirms Tehran Will Not Open Military Sites to International Inspection

September 13, 2017

Top Iranian Official Denounces UN Nuclear Watchdog Chief Yukiya Amano, Confirms Tehran Will Not Open Military Sites to International Inspection, AlgemeinerBen Cohen, September 12, 2017

(How diligently has the IAEA sought evidence to justify inspections of military and other non-declared Iranian sites? The Iranian position appears to be that even with substantial such evidence inspections would not be permitted.– DM)

Amano did not back down on his statement of September 1, delivered in an interview with the Associated Press, that under the provisions of the JCPOA, the IAEA “has access to all locations without making distinctions between military and civilian locations.” In private briefings with journalists, however, IAEA officials have said they are not seeking to inspect Iranian military sites, as they have no evidence to suspect Iran of carrying out banned activities; critics of the JCPOA have depicted such statements as a face-saving device, countering that the IAEA wants to avoid a losing confrontation with Iran, which has made clear that its military sites are off-limits.

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A senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader has fiercely denounced Yukiya Amano – the head of the UN’s nuclear monitoring body, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – for his assertion that IAEA inspectors are entitled to access all “relevant locations,” including military sites, inside Iran.

“The claim of such a right is fabricated by Mr. Amano,” Ali Akbar Velayati – a former Iranian foreign minister who now advises Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on international affairs – told the regime’s official news agency, IRNAon Tuesday. “If he was independent, and his decisions were based fully on independence, he would have pressed inspecting the nuclear centers of the Zionist regime, because nuclear arms in the occupied lands set as the biggest danger to the entire Middle East region.”

Velayati’s attack on Amano is notable in that it comes two days after the IAEA chief confirmed that Iran, in the view of the agency, is abiding by the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)  – the official name of the nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers, led by the United States, in July 2015.

“The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the deal are being implemented,” Amano told the quarterly meeting of the IAEA’s 35-member Board of Governors in Vienna. Amano also told the meeting that Iran had agreed to a “high number” of short-notice inspections of its nuclear sites, without specifically addressing the concern voiced last month by Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, that the IAEA does not have enough access in Iran.

At the same time, Amano did not back down on his statement of September 1, delivered in an interview with the Associated Press, that under the provisions of the JCPOA, the IAEA “has access to all locations without making distinctions between military and civilian locations.” In private briefings with journalists, however, IAEA officials have said they are not seeking to inspect Iranian military sites, as they have no evidence to suspect Iran of carrying out banned activities; critics of the JCPOA have depicted such statements as a face-saving device, countering that the IAEA wants to avoid a losing confrontation with Iran, which has made clear that its military sites are off-limits.

In his statement on Tuesday, Velayati bluntly confirmed this position. “Neither Mr. Amano, his officers nor any other foreigner is entitled to visit our military centers, because the centers are fully secret security zones for any foreigner and foreign affiliates,” IRNA quoted him as saying.

Velayati’s comments come amid persistent rumors that US President Donald Trump’s Administration is looking to ratchet up pressure on Tehran over its ballistic missile tests and its sponsorship of Shia Islamist organizations like Hezbollah in Lebanon. According to a Reuters news agency report on Tuesday, Trump was presented last Friday with a plan assembled by Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser H.R. McMaster, and other top officials. The plan “could allow more aggressive U.S. responses to Iran’s forces, its Shi‘ite Muslim proxies in Iraq and Syria, and its support for militant groups,” the report said.

Also in question is whether Trump will re-certify the JCPOA in October, as the president is legally required to do every 100 days. While Trump has made no secret of his distaste for the deal, the Iran strategy presented to him on Friday by his advisers reportedly does not advocate a withdrawal from the JCPOA, but rather increased economic sanctions and limited military moves to counter Iran’s growing influence.

UN atomic chief warns on ‘nuclear terrorism’

March 25, 2016

UN atomic chief warns on ‘nuclear terrorism’ Yahoo News, Simon Sturdee, March 25, 2016

UN Nuke chiefInternational Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano

Vienna (AFP) – The world needs to do more to prevent “nuclear terrorism”, the head of the UN atomic watchdog has warned ahead of an important summit and in the wake of the Brussels terror attacks.

“Terrorism is spreading and the possibility of using nuclear material cannot be excluded,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano told AFP in an interview late Thursday.

“Member states need to have sustained interest in strengthening nuclear security,” he said. “The countries which do not recognise the danger of nuclear terrorism is the biggest problem.”

Amano’s comments came before a summit of around 50 leaders in Washington on March 31-April 1 on ensuring that nuclear material in the world’s roughly 1,000 atomic facilities are secured.

Highlighting the risks, in December Belgian police investigating the November 13 Paris terror attacks found 10 hours of video of the comings and goings of a senior Belgian nuclear official.

The material, filmed by a camera in bushes outside the official’s home, was reportedly found at the property of Mohamed Bakkali, incarcerated in Belgium for his links to the Paris attackers.

One Belgian newspaper reported that the device was collected by none other than brothers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui — two of the suicide bombers in this week’s Brussels attacks.

– Grapefruit-sized –

The Washington summit is part of a process begun by US President Barack Obama in a speech in Prague in 2009 and follows similar gatherings in Seoul in 2012 and The Hague in 2014.

Major progress has been made, with countries reducing stockpiles of nuclear material, experts say. Japan for example is this month returning to the US enough plutonium to make 50 nuclear bombs.

But according to the International Panel on Fissile Materials, enough plutonium and highly enriched uranium still exist to make 20,000 weapons of the magnitude that levelled Hiroshima in 1945.

A grapefruit-sized amount of plutonium can be fashioned into a nuclear weapon, and according to Amano it is “not impossible” that extremists could manage to make a “primitive” device — if they got hold of the material.

“It is now an old technology and nowadays terrorists have the means, the knowledge and the information,” he said.

But he said that a far likelier risk was a “dirty bomb”.

This is a device using conventional explosives to disperse radioactive material other than uranium or plutonium.

Such material can be found in small quantities in universities, hospitals and other facilities the world over, often with little security.

“Dirty bombs will be enough to (drive) any big city in the world into panic,” Amano said. “And the psychological, economic and political implications would be enormous.”

This is thought to be well within the capabilities of extremists. The Islamic State group has already used chemical weapons, CIA director John Brennan told CBS News in February.

– Tip of the iceberg –

Since the mid-1990s, almost 2,800 incidents of illicit trafficking, “unauthorised possession” or loss of nuclear materials have been recorded in an IAEA database. One such incident occurred in Iraq last year.

Only a few involved substances that could be used to make a actual nuclear weapon, but some could be used to create a dirty bomb.

“It is very possible this is the tip of the iceberg,” Amano told AFP.

A vital step, he said, would be the entry into force of the arcane-sounding but important 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM).

It is the only legally-binding international undertaking for the physical protection of nuclear material.

Amano said it will reduce the likelihood of a dirty bomb by making it legally binding for countries to protect nuclear facilities and to secure nuclear material in domestic use, storage and transport.

Pakistan this week became the latest country to ratify the CPPNM, bringing to just eight the number of adherences still required.

“The weakest link (in nuclear security) is that this amendment. .. has not entered into force. This is a top priority,” Amano said, expressing hope that this could happen “in the coming months”.

IAEA: Iran Nuke Deal Limits Public Reporting on Possible Violations

March 7, 2016

IAEA: Iran Nuke Deal Limits Public Reporting on Possible Violations, Washington Free Beacon, , March 7, 2016

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Yukiya Amano of Japan addresses the media during a news conference after a meeting of the IAEA board of governors at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, Monday, March 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Yukiya Amano of Japan addresses the media during a news conference after a meeting of the IAEA board of governors at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, Monday, March 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

The head of the international community’s nuclear watchdog organization disclosed Monday that certain agreements reached under the Iran nuclear deal limit inspectors from publicly reporting on potential violations by the Islamic Republic.

Yukiya Amano, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, which is responsible for ensuring Iran complies with the agreement, told reporters that his agency is no longer permitted to release details about Iran’s nuclear program and compliance with the deal.

Amano’s remarks come on the heels of a February IAEA oversight report that omitted many details and figures related to Iran’s nuclear program. The report sparked questions from outside nuclear experts and accusations from critics that the IAEA was not being transparent with its findings.

Amano disclosed in response to questions from reporters that the last report was intentionally vague because the nuclear agreement prohibits the IAEA from publishing critical data about Iran’s program that had been disclosed by the agency in the past.

“The misunderstanding is that the basis of reporting is different,” Amano said. “In the previous reports, the bases were the previous [United Nations] Security Council Resolutions and Board of Governors. But now they are terminated. They are gone.”

Most U.N. measures pertaining to Iran—including its military buildup and illicit work on nuclear technology—were removed following the nuclear agreement, which essentially rewrote the organization’s overall approach to the country.

The IAEA, which operates under the U.N. umbrella, must now follow the new resolutions governing the implementation of the nuclear pact, Amano said.

“These two resolutions and the other resolutions of the Security Council and Board are very different,” he said. “And as the basis is different, the consequences are different.”

Amano said that going forward, the agency would only release reports that are consistent with the most recent Security Council resolutions on Iran, meaning that future reports are likely to impact the international community’s ability to determine if Iran is fully complying with its end of the agreement.

Last month’s report was viewed as particularly significant because it allowed the nuclear agreement to proceed to its implementation stage. However, the dearth of information in it has angered some experts.

The latest report “provides insufficient details on important verification and monitoring issues,” Olli Heinonen, the IAEA’s former deputy director general, stated in a policy brief.

“The report does not list inventories of nuclear materials and equipment or the status of key sites and facilities,” Heinonen said in his analysis, which was published by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “Without detailed reporting, the international community cannot be sure that Iran is upholding its commitments under the nuclear deal.”

The IAEA’s latest report also failed to disclose information about Iran’s stockpiles of low-enriched uranium, which is supposed to be significantly reduced as part of the nuclear deal.

Additional information about Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, the machines responsible for enriching uranium, also was withheld by the IAEA.

Other critics accused the Obama administration of misleading Congress during negotiations over the deal. White House officials maintained at the time that the agreement would provide increased transparency into Iran’s nuclear endeavors.

“When nuclear negotiations began in late 2013, the administration asked Congress to stand down on pressuring the Iranians, and promised to force the Iranians to dismantle significant parts of their nuclear program if Congress gave negotiators space,” Omri Ceren, an official with The Israel Project, which works with Congress on the Iran issue, wrote in an analysis sent to reporters on Monday.

“U.S. negotiators eventually caved on any demands that would have required the destruction of Iran’s uranium infrastructure, and instead went all-in on verification and transparency: Yes, the Iranians would get to keep what they’d built, and yes, their program would eventually be fully legal, but the international community would have full transparency into everything from uranium mining to centrifuge production to enriched stockpiles,” Ceren explained.

However, “now Amano has revealed that the nuclear deal gutted the ability of journalists and the public to have insight into Iran’s nuclear activities,” he said. “In critical areas, it’s not even clear that the IAEA has been granted the promised access.”

Will The West Ease The Sanctions Even Though Iran Is Not Meeting Its JCPOA Obligations?

December 18, 2015

Will The West Ease The Sanctions Even Though Iran Is Not Meeting Its JCPOA Obligations? MEMRI, A. Savyon and Y. Carmon* December 17, 2015

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According to various reports, Iran is holding contacts with the U.S. vis-à-vis implementation of the JCPOA. On November 29, 2015, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announced that the U.S. must do its part, that is, lift the sanctions, even before Iran meets its obligations – expressly contradicting the JCPOA.

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Introduction

With the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors’ closure, on December 15, 2015, of Iran’s PMD (Possible Military Dimensions) dossier, the JCPOA is now back on track for the implementation that began on Adoption Day, October 18, 2015.

It is now Iran’s turn to meet its JCPOA obligations, which include removing nine tons of low-level enriched uranium from the country, dismantling centrifuges so that only 6,000 active ones remain, pouring concrete into the core of the nuclear reactor at Arak in a way that will prevent it from being used for producing plutonium, adopting the Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and more.

Once the IAEA confirms that Iran has done this, Implementation Day will be declared; under it, the lifting of some of the sanctions on Iran and the suspension of others will take place, as promised by the U.S. and European countries on October 19, 2015.

However, at this point, Iran is providing only a show of making progress in its implementation of its obligations. Inactive centrifuges are being transferred from site to site, and not a single active centrifuge has yet been dismantled. Iran has reached agreements with Russia to store its enriched uranium, and documents have been signed with the superpowers for changing the designation of the Arak reactor. But so far Iran has actually met none of its obligations.[1]

Holding back Iran’s implementation is the October 21, 2015 letter from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to Iranian President Hassan Rohani setting nine new conditions that must be met first.

According to various reports, Iran is holding contacts with the U.S. vis-à-vis implementation of the JCPOA. On November 29, 2015, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announced that the U.S. must do its part, that is, lift the sanctions, even before Iran meets its obligations – expressly contradicting the JCPOA.[2] Zarif also announced, upon his arrival in New York on December 17, 2015, that there is a possibility that he will meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry “for discussions on the implementation of the JCPOA.”[3]

Could The U.S. And Europe Ease Or Lift Sanctions Even If Iran Does Not Meet Its JCPOA Obligations?

U.S. representatives have given no indication that the sanctions will be eased or lifted if Iran does not meet its obligations under the JCPOA. However, in his December 15, 2015 statements, when he presented his PMD report to the IAEA Board of Governors, IAEA secretary-general Yukiya Amano hinted at such a possibility. He said: “First, Iran needs to complete the necessary preparatory steps to start implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed with the E3/EU+3 countries. JCPOA Implementation Day will occur when the Agency has verified that Iran has implemented measures specified in that agreement. I will inform the Board promptly when the Agency has verified that the preparatory steps have been completed [emphasis MEMRI’s].”[4]

The term “preparatory steps” does not appear in the JCPOA. It is not reasonable to suppose that the West would be satisfied with mere “preparatory steps” on Iran’s part instead of full implementation of its obligations before sanctions are eased.

It should also be noted that Amano said on the same occasion: “All parties must fully implement their commitments under the JCPOA.”[5]

At this stage, it is unclear whether Amano’s use of the words “preparatory steps” instead of the words “fully implement… commitments under the JCPOA” represents intentions on the part of the U.S. administration; it could be nothing more than a general statement. This will become clear in the near future.

In the meantime, in his December 16, 2015 address to the nation, Iranian President Rohani effusively praised the JCPOA and Iran’s gains under it, and stated that in “January” the sanctions on Iran would be lifted.[6]

However, “January” is not a reasonable time frame. Iran would not succeed in completing all its tasks in such a short time, and IAEA would certainly not be able to submit a report verifying it had done so by then.

 

*A. Savyon is Director of the MEMRI Iran Media Project; Y. Carmon is President of MEMRI.

 

Endnotes:

[1] MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1209, Power Struggle Between Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei’s Ideological Camp And Rafsanjani’s Pragmatic Camp Intensifies – Part I: Khamenei Blocks Iran’s Implementation Of The JCPOA, December 11, 2015.

[2] See Zarif’s statements in MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1209, Power Struggle Between Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei’s Ideological Camp And Rafsanjani’s Pragmatic Camp Intensifies – Part I: Khamenei Blocks Iran’s Implementation Of The JCPOA, December 11, 2015.

[3] ISNA (Iran), December 17, 2015. It was also reported that secret talks were held in Oman in November 2014 between U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Atomic Energy Agency of Iran (AEAO) director Ali Akbar Salehi, on the possibility that Kazakhstan would be the country to which Iran would sent its enriched uranium, instead of Russia. The Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2015.

[4] Iaea.org/newscenter/statements/introductory-statement-board-governors-67, December 15, 2015.

[5] Iaea.org/newscenter/statements/introductory-statement-board-governors-67, December 15, 2015.

[6] President Rohani said: “I announce to the Iranian people that in January the sanctions will be lifted; thus, one of the 11th government’s election promises to the people will be kept, the sanctions will be lifted from the feet of the Iranian economy, and the way will be opened for more cooperation with the world.” President.ir (Iran), December 16, 2015.

The inspection joke

December 16, 2015

The inspection joke, Israel Hayom, Dan Margalit, December 16, 2015

Amano knew very well what was expected of him as early as 2014, and he acted accordingly. Obama and other Western leaders wanted an agreement at any cost, and as a result they gave without taking. Rather than letting Amano visit the site on his terms, Iran handed over soil samples collected by Iran itself, with no supervision, making a mockery of the inspection process.

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U.S. President Barack Obama addressed the American nation from the Oval Office following the San Bernardino terrorist attack earlier this month. In his address, he beat around the bush, doing all he could to avoid describing the attack as the work of Islamic terrorists. He opted instead for euphemism and bland language. This turned him into the butt of a viral joke online about how he would have responded to the Pearl Harbor attack almost exactly 74 years ago. “A few bad men arrived on planes and shot people on ships,” Obama would have told the nation, making no mention of “Japanese” “war” or “attack on America.” This approach neatly dovetails with what happened on Tuesday, when the International Atomic Energy Agency adopted a resolution ending its probe into Iran’s efforts to manufacture nuclear bombs.

The Iran nuclear deal stipulates that the IAEA director general “will provide by 15 December 2015 the final assessment on the resolution of all past and present outstanding issues” regarding “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program. Although current IAEA chief Yukiya Amano is highly regarded, it was clear early in the negotiations that the Iran deal was skewed in favor of Tehran.

Almost two years ago, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon attended a panel in Munich. On stage were Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Amano, among others. When Zarif was asked why his government would not let Amano visit Parchin [where some of the clandestine research was carried out], Zarif lied, telling the audience that such a visit was prohibited. When Ya’alon asked Amano why he didn’t interject and expose Zarif’s lie, Amano said the timing, and the venue, weren’t right. From that moment onward, it was clear that Amano would probably shirk his duty as chief inspector when it came to the Iranian nuclear deal, culminating with the Tuesday’s decision at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting (Iran, for its part, was not convinced that the IAEA would be on its side, and staged a conflict in the upper echelons of the regime, but it calmed down once it became clear that the IAEA would pass a very nonthreatening resolution.)

Amano knew very well what was expected of him as early as 2014, and he acted accordingly. Obama and other Western leaders wanted an agreement at any cost, and as a result they gave without taking. Rather than letting Amano visit the site on his terms, Iran handed over soil samples collected by Iran itself, with no supervision, making a mockery of the inspection process.

Why has Amano let Iran off the hook? Why has he forgone, at the very least, an effort to get to the bottom of Iran’s deception over the years? Why does Amano think that it is not worth exposing the truth, even if the West wants to look the other way and ignore Iran’s bomb making efforts? Only he knows.

Even the proponents of the deal should view Amano’s approach as a mistake. During the 2014 conference in Germany, Ya’alon warned that the West was fooling itself if it thinks the deal would work. Tuesday’s decision has two ramifications: First, Iran will consider it a concession and assume that this will define the West’s conduct down the road, and second, it will embolden the ayatollahs in Iran. From now on their approach to the West will be “anything goes, because we are always successful.” One day, a leader may rise in the West and try to end Iran’s lucky streak, but it may be too late.

History has proven that mistakes are bound to be repeated.

Kerry Welcomes End of Investigation into Iran’s Past Nuclear Efforts (Including Lies)

December 16, 2015

Kerry Welcomes End of Investigation into Iran’s Past Nuclear Efforts (Including Lies), The Jewish PressLori Lowenthal Marcus, December 15, 2015

IAEA-AmanoIAEA’S Dir. Gen. Yukiya Amano in Vienna. Sept. 14, 2015. Photo Credit: YouTube screen capture

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is thrilled that the world’s nuclear watchdog agency has decided, despite the continued lying by Iran about its nuclear weapons program and its violations of UN ballistic missile bans, to close its investigation into whether there had been any possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Kerry’s statement, released on Tuesday, Dec. 15, noted that a Dec. 2 assessment by Yukiya Amano, Director General of the IAEA, revealed Iran had engaged in activities consistent with a nuclear weapons program as recently as a mere six years ago.

For some reason, Kerry seemed to find that reassuring.

The Secretary of State said that with the consensus adoption by the IAEA Board of Governors, it will now be able to “turn its focus now to the full implementation and verification of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”

In other words, everyone can now move towards lifting sanctions against Iran which not only continued to lie about its past nuclear activity, but which has already twice violated United Nations missile bans on it since the time the JCPOA was agreed to in July.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power acknowledged Iran’s October violation of the missile ban.

Iran’s latest violation of the missile ban was made public by a United Nations Panel in a report dated Dec. 11, Reuters reported on Tuesday. That report was forwarded to the UNSC’s sanctions committee.

Iran has consistently said it will defy any limitations on its ballistic missile program, whether enshrined in UN resolutions or otherwise.

Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) was outraged by the IAEA’s decision, and the green light it gives to the administration’s willingness to move towards implementation of its nearly toothless Nuclear Iran Deal.

“The vote today is a total capitulation to the Iranian regime’s aggressively dishonest behavior with respect to its commitment under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Sadly, though not surprisingly, the IAEA Board of Governors closed the investigation into Iran’s nuclear program, despite proof of Iran’s dishonesty and in the absence of thorough, truthful answers to many outstanding issues. The president will now use this decision to lift sanctions on Iran without having the complete truth regarding its nuclear weapons related activity. This is a grave and historic error that sends the wrong message,” wrote Pompeo.

The Kansas member of Congress pointed out that the Iran deal, which lasts for more than a decade, means many more years of the U.S. and its partner nations look the other way while the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism continues “cheating, lying, and breaking the rules.”

“This is wholly unacceptable and will most assuredly lead to more of the same from Ayatollah Khamenei. Other rogue nations now know too that America will accept deceit and fraud in dealings with respect to nuclear proliferation.”

Kerry said on Tuesday that the watchdog agency can still investigate Iran if “there is reason to believe” that country is “pursuing any covert nuclear activities in the future, as it had in the past. In fact, the JCPOA – by providing for implementation of the Additional Protocol as well as other enhanced transparency measures – puts the IAEA in a far better position to pursue any future concerns that may arise.”

The IAEA may be able to continue to investigate, but given that past violations have been met with no consequences, it’s a cold assurance that such investigations can continue.

Incredibly, Kerry’s statement concludes:

Today’s resolution makes clear that the IAEA’s Board of Governors will be watching closely to verify that Iran fully implements its commitments under the JCPOA. We will remain intensely focused going forward on the full implementation of the JCPOA in order to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.

Isn’t that comforting?

Nuke watchdog approves Iran for sanctions relief

December 15, 2015

Nuke watchdog approves Iran for sanctions relief, Washington ExaminerDavid Brown, December 15, 2015

(The watchdog’s teeth were extracted and its glasses taken away by the “side deals.” — DM)

730x420-79ad08c54362ad0f598ff795dd9dc307Director General of the IAEA Yukiya Amano said, “the agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.” (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)

The board of the nuclear watchdog group agreed to close the file on Iran’s past nuclear work on Tuesday, clearing the way for Tehran to receive billions in relief from international sanctions, according to news reports.

The board’s decision, according to diplomats quoted by Agence France-Presse, followed the recommendation of International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano, who earlier on Tuesday said “the agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.”

“Nor has the agency found any credible indications of the diversion of nuclear material in connection with the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program,” he said.

“Significant progress has been made on the Iran nuclear issue, but now is not the time to relax. This issue has a long and complex history, and the legacy of mistrust between Iran and the international community must be overcome,” he said. “Much work lies ahead of us. All parties must fully implement their commitments under the JCPOA. Considerable effort was required in order to reach this agreement. A similar and sustained effort will be required to implement it.”