News / Middle East

Iran's Nuclear Chief says IAEA Head 'Biased'

Multimedia

Audio

It was another day of bullhorn diplomacy by Iran's top nuclear officials, who appear to be struggling to halt momentum for a new round of international sanctions.  The head of Iran's atomic energy agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, began the day by calling IAEA chief Yukiya Amano "biased."

Salehi added that Iran hopes that Amano will change his approach.  

The remarks coincide with a meeting of the IAEA board in Vienna, which began Monday, in which Amano complained that Tehran "has not provided the agency with the necessary cooperation," and that he could "not confirm that all nuclear material in Iran is [being used] in peaceful activities."

Amano's report to the IAEA board also stressed that Tehran may be working to develop a nuclear warhead, and its recent decision to enrich uranium to the 20-percent level could, in theory, give it the material needed to produce an atomic bomb.

Iran has repeatedly insisted that its nuclear program is intended for peaceful civilian purposes, but the West suspects it is covertly working to produce nuclear weapons.

Iran's Ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asgar Soltaniyah, added his voice to the diplomatic debate Tuesday, insisting Iran has been cooperating in good faith with the IAEA.

"We have fully cooperated in the context of the comprehensive safeguards," he said.  "Mr. Amano not only in his opening statement today but also in the press conference he also confirmed that there has been full cooperation by Iran, and the [IAEA] has been able to continue its verification activities in Iran for the declared nuclear material as we said, but [you should not] expect us to go beyond our legal obligations."

Soltaniyah said Tehran does not consider U.N. Security Council resolutions over its nuclear program to be "legitimate," and that it would not conform to them.

Iran missed an international deadline at the end of January to accept a U.N. draft nuclear deal to exchange close to 70% of it stockpile of low-grade uranium for more highly enriched uranium from France and Russia. It has been making contradictory statements about the deal for weeks.

Royal Military College of Canada political science teacher Houchang Hassan-yari says Iranian officials are trying to create confusion in order to buy time:

"Salehi, sometimes Soltaniyeh, Larijani, Ahmadinejad, Muttaqi and others say they are ready to negotiate, they are ready to transfer their enriched uranium to Russia and then they refuse to do it," he noted.  "So, I think the Iranian regime uses different personalities inside the system, using different language for the same purpose.  The purpose is buying time not to fulfill their responsibility by answering very clearly the resolutions passed by the IAEA board of governors, but also by the U.N. Security Council.  So, they were successful to this point.  Nobody is talking about the resolutions passed by the U.N. Security Council and they are forgotten.  So, the Iranians are very, very good in creating a new quasi-crisis in order to force the other side to forget the previous step."

Hassan-yari notes the only point at which he thinks the Iranian regime will conform to the demands of the United Nations is when it feels its existence is threatened.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid