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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid