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Russia, China cautioning IAEA seek to protect Iran from further sanctions

Iran Materials 26 October 2011 18:45
The main reason for Moscow and Beijing’s pressure on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is not to revel a report on Iran’s alleged plans to develop nuclear weapons, but is a desire to protect Tehran from further sanctions.
Russia, China cautioning IAEA seek to protect Iran from further sanctions

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 26 /Trend T.Konyayeva/

The main reason for Moscow and Beijing's pressure on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is not to revel a report on Iran's alleged plans to develop nuclear weapons, but is a desire to protect Tehran from further sanctions, Professor Reza Taghizadeh, a member of the Trend Expert Council, believes.

"The main reason of Moscow and Beijing's recent move is to offer Tehran further protection against the forthcoming sanctions, which are expected to be adopted and applied against the Islamic Republic," Taghizadeh wrote to Trend in an email.

On September 12, Amano announced plans to publish a new report detailing the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear programme.

The report is due to be circulated among the 35-member of IAEA board of governors, during their meeting in Vienna on November 17-18.

In the joint note, issued on Tuesday, Moscow and Beijing warned the UN atomic agency against "groundless haste" and urge him to "act cautiously," adding that "such kind of report will only drive the Iranians into a corner making them less cooperative."

Taghizadeh believes that Russia and China's behavior is in line with the two UN Security Council permanent members' traditional soft approach towards Tehran and its controversial nuclear program.

"However, Russia and China are not advising IAEA how to deal with Iran's nuclear hidden agenda as they only warn the UN nuclear agency that publication of such report in full may cause even lesser cooperation by Iran with the international community," the expert said.

Russia, which helped Iran build its only functioning nuclear power plant at Bushehr, and China, which is one of the current major trade partners, have traditionally taken a softer position on Iran than other veto-holding UN Security Council powers the United States, Britain and France.

In spite of joining the United States, Britain, France and Germany in the approval of Resolution 1929 in June, 2010, Russia and China insist on a diplomatic solution and on following a dual-path strategy for Iran, involving the combination of sanctions and negotiations.

Considering the lack of progress towards a nuclear negotiation with Iran, the US and Washington allies are now hinting about new sanctions against Iran that could include its Central Bank, Taghizadeh said.

"Such sanction could have by far more devastation effect on Iran's stagnated economy that any other measure had in the past. In that sense, sanctioning Iran's Central Bank could be equal to a direct sanction against its oil and gas trade," he said.

Iran's refusal to abandon its nuclear activities has resulted in resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council in 2010, as well as additional unilateral sanctions approved by the U.S. Congress and the foreign ministers of all EU countries, which were primarily directed against the banking, financial and energy sectors of Iran.

In mid-October, David Cohen, the U.S. Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, announced that the Obama administration is considering sanctioning the CBI for an alleged plot by Iran to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington.

Such sanctions would aim to isolate the Central Bank of Iran from the world economic system by barring any firm that deals with it from doing business with U.S. financial institutions.

As to Russia and China's success to prevent the IAEA from publishing the report, Taghizadeh believes that one should wait and see.

"But the fact is that the two countries have no more right in the IAEA Board of Governors than any other 32 members. Therefore, it is expected that Amano's report being published about a week before the Board meeting commenced on Nov. 17," he underscored.

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