NAM grills Amano over IAEA report on Iran

Iran Materials 1 March 2010 13:17 (UTC +04:00)
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has criticized the new Director of the UN nuclear watchdog for abandoning 'the standard verification language' in his latest report on Iran's enrichment work.
NAM grills Amano over IAEA report on Iran

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has criticized the new Director of the UN nuclear watchdog for abandoning 'the standard verification language' in his latest report on Iran's enrichment work.

Yukiya Amano, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently issued a two-edged report, which leveled an unprecedented criticism and accusations against Iran over what it calls "the country's non-cooperation with the agency", Press TV reported.

In an undisclosed statement obtained by Press TV on Sunday, NAM member-states raised concern over the wording of the report, saying that it would have 'plausible' consequences which may inadvertently damage the credibility of the UN nuclear agency.

In view of that, they called on Amano to explain as to why he resorted to using such wording against Iran when the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in the country is continuously verified by his agency.

"NAM notes with concern, the plausible implications of the departure of standard verification language in the summary of the report of the Director General, when stating that 'Iran had not provided the necessary cooperation to permit the Agency to confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities', and would like to seek clarification from the Agency for this," said the statement, which is slated to be read in a meeting between NAM member states on Monday.

The 118-member organization said the report has instead included issues which were raised a long time ago and have already been addressed by Iran.

NAM explained that the UN report, which is Amano's first since his July appointment as the head of the IAEA, has blatantly ignored Iran's cooperative efforts to address concern and resolve ambiguities over its nuclear work.

"NAM takes note that the latest report of the Director General includes many references to events that transpired prior to the previous report contained in document GOV/2009/74 dated 16 November 2009, and contrary to the expectation of NAM, does not mention the responses provided by Iran to the Agency on several issues," the statement which is going to be released on Monday added.

NAM member-states went on to suggest that Amano's report was somewhat influenced by "undue political pressure" from a number of countries in defiance of the UN nuclear agency's role as the sole competent authority to judge member-states on their safeguard obligations.

This is the first time the NAM movement directly criticizes the director of a UN agency.

In a veiled reference to Israel's reported possession of an atomic arsenal, NAM urged the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free-zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East as a positive step towards attaining the objective of global nuclear disarmament.

NAM also warned against an attack on Iran's nuclear infrastructure, as repeatedly threatened by Israel over the past few months.

The movement said any act of aggression against Iran's enrichment sites, be it operational or under construction, would pose a serious danger to human beings and would therefore constitute a grave violation of international law.

In light of this, NAM called for a comprehensive and multilaterally-negotiated measure prohibiting attacks, or threats of attacks on enrichment facilities devoted to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Israel routinely threatens to attack Iran's nuclear sites, arguing that the country's enrichment activities are an existential threat to Tel Aviv, which incongruously is reported to have an arsenal of 200 nuclear warheads at its disposal.

In a late Sunday interview with CNN, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said if its allies fail to obstruct Iran's enrichment program in the upcoming months, Tel Aviv will take the matter into its own hands.