News / Middle East

Iran's Supreme Leader Criticizes International Atomic Energy Agency

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (file)
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (file)

Iran's Supreme Leader is criticizing the International Atomic Energy Agency and Western countries for saying his country's nuclear ambitions are not entirely peaceful.  

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blasted the United States and other Western countries, branding them "hegemonistic powers," and vowing that Iran "would not submit to their will."  He also slammed the International Atomic Energy Agency for "not acting independently," especially with regard to its recent report on Iran's nuclear program.

The IAEA meets this week in Vienna and is expected to discuss Iran's refusal to accept the draft nuclear deal it was offered last November.  The deal called for Iran to ship up to 70 percent of its low-grade uranium stockpile to France and Russia for 20-percent enriched uranium.

The United States, Britain and Israel, the Ayatollah complained, are constantly trying to "stir up controversy," to discredit the Islamic Republic, which he claimed is merely working to pursue modern technology, including atomic energy for civilian purposes. He said the strength and solidarity of Iran's Islamic establishment has brought failure to their attempts.  Iran, he adds, is working for scientific development, including progress in nuclear technology, and despite all the controversy, it will become self-sufficient in the domain of (peaceful) nuclear energy.

Iran has repeatedly insisted its nuclear program is for civilian purposes, while the West suspects it is trying to build atomic weapons.  

Amid the bluster and attempts to discredit the IAEA, Khamenei went on to praise Iran's diplomatic corps, which he was addressing.  Despite Tehran's apparently increasing isolation, the Ayatollah claimed Iranian diplomacy is successful in countering the West. He said Iran must deploy a strong and useful diplomacy that relies on logic, wisdom and confidence.  He adds that strong diplomacy will triumph over arms, propaganda, and money.

Meir Javedanfar of the MEEPAS center in Tel Aviv says the Ayatollah is hoping to discredit the IAEA and the West in an attempt to wiggle out of what appears to be increasingly imminent sanctions. "Ayatollah Khamenei is aware that the IAEA report could be instrumental in the United Nations in bringing tougher sanctions against his regime, and by bringing it under question in such a manner he is trying to weaken its validity and credibility, so that it will be more difficult for the United States to gather the international consensus it needs in order to implement tough sanctions," he said.

Analysts say Iran also made an unusual move recently by bringing its stockpile of low-grade uranium from underground bunkers to an above-ground warehouse.  Javedanfar says he thinks the move could be intended to invite an Israeli attack, which he says would be in Iran's strategic interest, but he says technical factors could also be at play.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid