US Supported New IAEA Director
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Established in July 1957, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is mandated to work with UN member states “and multiple partners worldwide to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technologies.”
On Tuesday, the organization’s 35-member board chose US-favored Rafeal Grossi as director general, a worrisome sign.
He succeeds Yukiya Amano. Cornel Feruta took over as acting director general following Amano’s July death at age-72, no cause explained at the time.
He oversaw the landmark JCPOA nuclear deal. Under his leadership, the IAEA affirmed Iran’s full compliance with its provisions 15 consecutive times.
No nation is more intensively monitored, none more scrupulously in compliance with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions and its other nuclear obligations.
In response to Netanyahu’s false claim about a “secret (Iranian) atomic warehouse” in his October 2018 UN General Assembly address, Amano refuted the accusation, saying:
“The agency sends inspectors to sites and locations only when needed. The agency uses all safeguards relevant to information available to it but it does not take (so-called intelligence) at face value,” adding:
“All information obtained, including from third parties, is subject to rigorous review and assessed together with other available information to arrive at an independent assessment based on the agency’s own expertise.”
“In order to maintain credibility, the agency’s independence in relation to the implementation of verification activities is of paramount importance.”
Was Amano’s death natural or by foul play? On July 24, Iran’s Tasnim News Agency reported the following:
“Informed sources have speculated that late chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano was assassinated by Israel in collaboration with the US for refusing to give in to pressures to raise new fabricated allegations against Iran’s nuclear program,” adding:
“Informed sources told Tasnim that Amano is thought to have been ‘eliminated’ by the Israeli regime so that the UN nuclear agency could have a new chief.”
He “was reportedly standing against the US and Israeli ‘heavy pressures to open a false case against Iran on the nuclear issue,’ the sources said.”
“There is evidence that the (US and Israel) were constantly pressuring Amano to accuse Iran of violation of the 2015 nuclear deal…contrary to all technical and legal reports by the IAEA that confirmed Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, as a leverage for implementing Donald Trump’s ‘pressure-talks’ scheme, they said.”
“The sources also said that the US and Israel had kept the news of death of Amano in the dark for a couple of days after his funeral.”
Was Amano eliminated to let the US engineer the election a new director serving its anti-Iran agenda?
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the IAEA’s “board picked a new leader…with strong US backing who has pledged to shake up the body and strictly monitor Iran’s nuclear activities,” adding:
He “signaled a stricter line on Tehran,” telling the Journal in September that he’s “prepared to continue what is OK, but continuity is not my program,” adding:
“We need to adjust. We need to evolve…We must be firm but fair” in monitoring Iran’s nuclear program.
The Journal cited unnamed “diplomats,” saying “Washington was leading a (pressure) campaign behind the scenes to pick” Grossi.
He was approved as new agency director general after three rounds of voting by a 24 – 10 margin over runner-up Cornel Feruta, a figure close to Amano.
According to the Journal, unnamed IAEA critics (sic) “say Mr. Amano’s team was insufficiently aggressive in investigating Iran’s nuclear efforts,” adding:
“They want the agency to visit sites and interview people mentioned in archived documents to learn if they are still involved in illicit nuclear-weapons-related work.”
Note: No US intelligence community or other evidence suggests Iran’s nuclear program has a military component now or earlier.
Claims otherwise were fabricated, especially by nuclear armed and dangerous Israel, its authorities permitting no IAEA or other inspections of its bomb-making facilities.
The US nuclear arsenal is a major global menace. In summer 2018, the Arms Control Association said planned spending over the next 30 years in upgrading the arsenal will cost “$1.2 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars,” adding:
“When the effects of inflation are included, the 30-year cost would approach $1.7 trillion,” citing information from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The true cost may end up much higher.
White House and Pentagon officials said “triad modernization plans may not be executable in the absence of significant and sustained increases to overall military spending,” the Arms Control Association noted.
With all categories, including large-scale black budgets, the US already spends about as much as the rest of the world combined on militarism, the Pentagon’s empire of bases, and endless wars of aggression.
Advancing Washington’s imperium constitutes the most significant threat to world peace, stability and security.
In contrast, the Islamic Republic of Iran never preemptively attacked another country, threatening none now.
Its legitimate nuclear program fully complies with its NPT, IAEA and JCPOA obligations — polar opposite how the US, NATO and Israel operate.
A Final Comment
On Wednesday, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) reported that an IAEA inspector “left the country after she was prevented from entering a nuclear site of the Islamic Republic for carrying ‘suspicious’ materials,” adding:
“As it is protocol, all of the IAEA inspectors’ belongings are closely inspected and scanned before they enter any of the country’s nuclear facilities.”
“Upon this lady inspector’s entry, the security control machines sounded the alarm and denied her entry” — the issue reported to the agency in Vienna.
Because of what happened, the AEOI aborted her mission and scrapped her previous reports. She’s likely persona non grata in Iran henceforth.
What happened is worrisome, especially with a US-supported director general scheduled to take office on December 3. The WSJ said “by Jan. 1” — his fairness and impartiality a matter of concern.
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