Iranian intelligence minister Heidar Moslehi has said that inspectors sent by the International Atomic Energy Agency had engaged in espionage and the Vienna-based agency must take responsibility for their actions, Reuters reported. Iran has been critical of Ithe AEA for leaking information of its nuclear programme to the US. In June, Iran banned two U.N. nuclear inspectors from entering the country, claiming they had leaked false information about the country’s disputed nuclear program.
“Among the individuals the IAEA sends as so-called inspectors, there are spies from foreign intelligence services. The IAEA must be held responsible for this,” state TV quoted Moslehi as saying. An IAEA spokesperson responded to the allegation in Vienna, saying the agency had no comment. Iran’s allegation comes a week after an Iranian nuclear scientist, Dr Majid Shahriari, was assassinated, in a bomb attack. Another scientist, Dr Fereydoon Abbasi, was wounded in a separate attack. Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, called the assassination of the nuclear scientist a disgrace for the Security Council. He said the assassination was linked to the international sanctions slapped on Iran by the Security Council, the US and the EU, and was a part of the western countries’ covert campaign to sabotage Iran’s nuclear programme.
Iran said the campaign includes abduction of Iranian nuclear scientists, sale of faulty nuclear equipment and placing of destructive computer worms such as stuxnet into the computer systems of the Iran nuclear programme. Computer worms brought Iran’s nuclear activity to a halt for a brief period in November. Iran accused Israel’s Mossad, Britain’s MI6 and the US’ CIA of being behind the sabotage activities.
Nuclear talks between Iran and P5+1 (Five permanent members: the US, Britain, France, Russia and China, plus Germany) broke down last year when Iran rejected the UN-drafted plan to swap Iran’s low enriched uranium with reactor-ready fuel rods. According to the plan, Iran has to ship its low enriched fuel abroad, to be kept in Russia. Then, a like quantity of ready-to-use fuel rods will be sent to Iran from France, as per the plan. Iran rebuffed the plan: it already had bitter experience with France, which did not supply fuel to Iran as promised in return for Iran’s investment in a French nuclear plant.
As a result, the US lobbied extensively for slapping a fourth round of sanctions on Iran, with Chinese and Russian cooperation. It succeeded in persuading China and Russia to place sanctions on Iran’s business interests and Iranian individuals having bank accounts abroad. The US and the EU also separately imposed their own sanctions. Russia condemned this separate sanctioning but who is caring? China did not express as much solidarity with Iran as even Russia did. Many countries around the world condemned the sanctions, saying sanctions are an old tactic. The Iranian president described the sanctions as a “used handkerchief.”
Iran’s foreign minister Mottaki requested neighbouring Arab and Muslim countries to be alert to the divide-and-rule tactics of the western countries, referring to the Saudi prince requesting the US to attack Iranian nuclear facilities, as revealed in the latest communication from Wikileaks.
One has to wonder, while expressing extreme worries over Iran’s nuclear programme, why these so-called world-protecting western countries do not question Israel’s nuclear policy of piling up hundreds of nuclear warheads which threaten the security of their Arab neighbours. Moreover, Iran is saying that its programme is for peaceful purposes, and US intelligence has confirmed that fact. On the other hand, Israel never disclosed a single piece of information about its nuclear warheads; it did not allow IAEA inspectors into the country. This double standard by the Security Council, the US and its allies should be condemned by the international community.
Perhaps Israel and the US, along with their allies, are the primary threat to world peace, as they have already attacked independent countries, disregarding the opinions of the international community. Destruction of thousands of warheads by the nuclear powerhouses is the essential pre-condition for world peace to prevail. Until then, countries like Iran, North Korea, India and Pakistan will have every right to pursue and build nuclear technology for peaceful as well as weapons purposes.