Saturday, November 26, 2011

Iran's nuclear threat: New revelations or change in IAEA's leadership?

Has IAEA found new evidence or discovered undisclosed sites in Iran recently that's fueling its growing concern over Iran's nuclear program, or is it the change in IAEA's leadership that explains the different attitude? The renowned journalist Seymour Hersh writes in the New Yorker on Nov 18, 2011:

"The shift in tone at the I.A.E.A. seems linked to a change at the top. The I.A.E.A.’s report had extra weight because the Agency has had a reputation for years as a reliable arbiter on Iran. Mohammed ElBaradei, who retired as the I.A.E.A.’s Director General two years ago, was viewed internationally, although not always in Washington, as an honest broker—a view that lead to the awarding of a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. ElBaradei’s replacement is Yukiya Amano of Japan. Late last year, a classified U.S. Embassy cable from Vienna, the site of the I.A.E.A. headquarters, described Amano as being “ready for prime time.” According to the cable, which was obtained by WikiLeaks, in a meeting in September, 2009, with Glyn Davies, the American permanent representative to the I.A.E.A., said, “Amano reminded Ambassador on several occasions that he would need to make concessions to the G-77 [the group of developing countries], which correctly required him to be fair-minded and independent, but that he was solidly in the U.S. court on every strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.” The cable added that Amano’s “willingness to speak candidly with U.S. interlocutors on his strategy … bodes well for our future relationship.”"

See the full text here

On the topic, see a recent interview of Mohammad Javad Larijani with MSNBC here (20.49m)