On June 6, thirty-five members states of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors will meet in Vienna to discuss the IAEA Secretary-General’s quarterly report on Iran and its compliance with the UN watchdog’s safety protocols.
Despite several trips to Iran, Rafael Grossi has received nothing but empty promises from a regime that continues to stonewall UN inspections by locking sensitive monitoring footage, forbidding scrutiny on enigmatic military sites, or even harassing female inspectors.
Despite the IAEA sidestepping its own mandatory safety concerns in favor of the 2015 nuclear deal to succeed, Tehran has failed to respond to the agency’s remaining questions to enable inspections in five requested suspect locations and clear the problematic PMD case for almost a decade.
Notwithstanding that Iran possesses one of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves, Tehran states it considers nuclear energy as the peaceful means to replace fossil fuel and yet it has already amassed more than 43 kilograms of 60% enriched uranium, while occasionally sending multiple former and current officials on the record to publicly threaten it can go beyond 90% if it desires to.
Reacting to reports that the IAEA BoG is planning to submit a resolution to its meeting next week, rebuking Tehran, the regime’s foreign ministry’s spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said, “Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful, and we will naturally respond firmly and appropriately to any unconstructive action by the Board of Governors,” adding that “those who view the Board of Governors and the Director-General’s report as leverage and tools of political games against Iran are responsible for the consequences.”
The regime in Iran had kept its nuclear program secret for decades, until it was revealed by the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK/PMOI) network inside its most secret sites and revealed by the Iranian National Council of Resistance’s office in Washington DC on August 14, 2002.
A Wall Street Journal report on May 25 revealed that this regime had “secured access to secret United Nations atomic agency reports almost two decades ago and circulated the documents among top officials who prepared cover stories and falsified a record to conceal suspected past work on nuclear weapons.”
After almost two decades of negotiations, despite handing out numerous incentive packages and security guarantees, Tehran has refused to abandon its nuclear program as it has clearly stated, it deems the latter as a “power element,” or strategic leverage if you will.
As with any other issue concerning the clerical regime, the nuclear dossier has been dubious and damning, and Tehran’s behavior throughout the last four decades underlines that it continues to pose a threat to regional and global peace and security.
As news reports suggest that the three European countries (E3), as well as the United States, are preparing for a rebuke at the BoG meeting, proponents of the policy of appeasement would argue, as they have done for years, that a strong condemnation would prompt the Supreme Leader Khamenei to leave the talks.
Given the threats posed by the regime as it continues to defy the international community, the onus is on the nations of the world to make sure those 35 governmental representatives understand their crucial responsibility towards international peace and security. The bloody war in Ukraine, the destruction of its cities, and the displacement of seven million people are proof of what a nuclear weapon armed tyrant state can do, even without launching a single nuclear weapon.
Experience has shown that a piecemeal approach to a whole host of Tehran’s malign activities so far has failed to curb other aspects of its mischief-making, including the destructive meddling in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon. To bring this to a halt and to stop it from spilling over to other parts of the world, the international community, Europe in particular, should act when it still has time to do so.