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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

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