Wednesday, September 05, 2007

New IAEA Report on Iran

On August 30, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General ElBaradei also delivered his report on the Implementation of Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards in Iran to the IAEA Board of Governors. The assessment states that Iran is now simultaneously operating nearly 2,000 centrifuges, the fast-spinning machines that produce enriched uranium, at its vast underground facilityat Natanz, an increase of several hundred machines from three months ago. More than 650 more centrifuges are being tested or are under construction. That number is far short of Iran's projection that by now it would be running 3,000 of the machines.

Mohamed ElBaradei said in an hour-long interview: "This is the first time Iran is ready to discuss all the outstanding issues which triggered the crisis in confidence. It's a significant step. There are clear deadlines, so it's not, as some people are saying, an open-ended invitation to dallying with the agency or a ruse to prolong negotiations and avoid sanctions." He added, "I'm clearat this stage, you need to give Iran a chance to prove its stated good will. Sanctions alone, I know for sure, are not going to lead to a durable solution."

Reacting to the report, the Bush administration repeated its determination to continue with its current approach. State Department Spokesman Tom Casey said: "There is no partial credit here. Iran has refused to comply with its international obligations, and, as a result of that, the international community is going to continue to ratchet up the pressure."

For his efforts to deal with Iran, the Washington Post published this scathing editorial on ElBaradei today, to which a colleague asked, "Does anybody know what is the Post smoking?"

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