What Amano's re-electing as IAEA chief means for Iran

Photo: What Amano's re-electing as IAEA chief means for Iran / Iran

S. Isayev, staff journalist, Trend Persian News Service

Since IAEA does not often change its head, it really didn't come out as a surprise that Yukiya Amano was re-elected on March 6 as the agency's head for the next four years.

The 65-year old Amano was approved by consensus by the IAEA's 35-nation governing board. His re-election still needs to be confirmed by an annual meeting of all 159 IAEA member states in September.

It remains to be seen how he will be handling the issue with Iran and its nuclear program, that has yet to find a solution that would suit everyone.

Prior to securing another 4-year term as IAEA's chief, Amano called on Iran to allow immediate access to the Parchin military base where it suspects nuclear weapons research took place.

IAEA chief said that this should be granted "without further delay", adding that providing access to the Parchin site would be a positive step which would help to demonstrate Iran's willingness to engage with the Agency on the substance of its concerns.

Iran held its ground, as head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Fereydoun Abbasi said the IAEA inspectors have to present Iran with relevant documents regarding their goals of visiting the complex.

It seems like still Iran and IAEA speak different languages, despite efforts from both sides.

The Western states favor Amano as he, through the years, has proven to be much harder than former chief Mohamed ElBaradei, regarding Iran's nuclear program.

As for Iran, judging by the statements from government officials, the country continues towards its course, however it is less happy about Amano in general.

"There have been some ups and downs. We really expect and hope that he will change the course of action," Reuters reported citing Iran's envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh.

Amano himself said recently that in his work the goal was to resolve Iran's nuclear issue by diplomatic means, and for that he needs Iran's cooperation.

It seems like thus far Iran and IAEA understand "co-operation" differently.

Currently, it is safe to say that in the near future IAEA and Iran will continue to work the same course as they did, as for Iran Amano's re-election doesn't signal anything of big significance.

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