Experts Wary of Iran Intentions on Eve of Talks

 

Jerusalem, May 22 – As reports emerged of a tentative agreement between and Iran and the IAEA one day before talks scheduled in Baghdad between the Iranians and the P5+1, experts warned that Iran has a long record of lying and deceiving the international community about its nuclear weapons program.

“I’m speaking about their (Iran’s) entire approach towards the west and the entire world. We have to be very, very cautious in agreements with Iran,” said Dore Gold, Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations.

Following talks Monday in Tehran, International Atomic Energy Agency director general Yukiya Amano said a deal will soon be signed with Iran for an “agreement on the structured approach” to renewing international inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities. For the past six years Iran has been in violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding it halt uranium enrichment and allow IAEA inspectors to determine if the country is developing nuclear weapons.

Iran has been caught several times in the past hiding its nuclear development. The three most notable cases are:

  • 2002 and 2003 - Iranian opposition group revealed secret nuclear development facilities at Arak and Natanz that the Iranians were supposed to have declared to the IAEA.
  • 2009 – Tipped off that intelligence agencies of several countries uncovered the secret facility, Iran revealed the previously unknown Fordo uranium enrichment site that is protected by military installations including missile silos and anti-aircraft batteries.
  • 2012 – A news report revealed that the top secret Parchin military complex may contain a container suspected of being used for nuclear arms-related testing.

In a radio interview, Gold said that in the past the Iranian negotiators at nuclear talks later “declared that they went into the negotiations only to gain time to advance their process of manufacturing their nuclear materials and build their nuclear complexes. That is the Iranian working method.”

Iran and the P5+1 nations (Germany, France, China, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S.) are scheduled to hold talks in Bagdad on May 23. The international community wants Iran to comply with the U.N. demands, while Iran says it will cooperate only if economic sanctions against it are lifted.

Experts from The Washington Institute, a major think-tank, warned the “Iranian regime's record of spotty implementation and quick suspension of past agreements” was a factor for the talks. “Reaching a full agreement will probably take dozens more meetings, and a leisurely pace would suggest that Iran is using the talks to stall while its nuclear program progresses,” the report said.

In Washington the U.S. Senate on Monday unanimously approved tougher sanctions on Iran that build on penalties signed into law by President Barack Obama in December against foreign institutions trading with Iran's central bank. Those sanctions have already cut deeply into Iran's oil trade.


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