Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • Hamas and Israel sustain fire despite missed targets

    Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Kerry holds all-night talks with Afghan presidential rivals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

  • Kurdish forces take over two oilfields in northern Iraq

    Read more

  • Are French high school students getting smarter?

    Read more

  • Italy’s Trentin wins seventh stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • In pictures: Chanel, Dior and so much more at the Paris couture shows

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Stern IAEA report adds weight to Iran sanctions call

©

Video by Annette YOUNG

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-11-09

Iran faced scrutiny by the West on Wednesday after the publication of a report from the UN atomic watchdog that amounted to its starkest warning yet about the unfolding nuclear situation in the Islamic republic.

Iran was the object of mounting international scrutiny Wednesday in the wake of a new report from the UN atomic watchdog that cited “credible” intelligence that Iran was indeed pursuing the development of nuclear arms.

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s report amounts to the sternest warning yet about the unfolding nuclear situation in Iran, and it immediately set off a storm of diplomatic reactions; the US threatened to step up international sanctions, while Israel raised the possibility of impending military action.

In the report, the Vienna-based agency presided over by Yukiya Amano of Japan points to Iran’s “research, development and testing activities” in the aim of producing a nuclear weapon, even if specific weapons labs or the existence of a finished nuclear weapon are not mentioned.

‘No ambiguity’ in Iranian intentions

Activities cited in the 13-page annex to the report include modeling of a nuclear warhead, testing explosives at a military base near Tehran, and exploring how to arm medium-range missiles with atomic warheads.

Other findings include documents suggesting that Iran “was working on a project to secure a source of uranium suitable for use in an undisclosed enrichment program” and proof that Iran “had been provided with nuclear explosive design information”.

Iran swiftly rejected the report, which was compiled from “over a thousand pages” of documents from more than 10 foreign intelligence agencies, as well as the IAEA’s own research.

“The report of the International Atomic Energy Agency is unbalanced, unprofessional and politically motivated,” Iranian state media quoted Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s representative to the IAEA, as saying.

But according to Yves Bonnet, the president of the International Centre for Research and Studies on Terrorism, “There is no ambiguity here. Iran has made no secret of its intentions to aquire an atomic bomb.”

Bonnet also said that the well-documented presence of Russian and South Korean nuclear technicians in Iran, as well as increasing numbers of nuclear production sites in Iran, further bolster the report’s findings.

France and US warn of sanctions, Israel of military action

Reactions from Western powers were quick and sharply worded. The US and France said they could resort to tough new sanctions, while the spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton noted that the report “seriously aggravates existing concerns on the nature of the Iranian nuclear programme”.

Russia’s foreign ministry, on the other hand, declared itself “gravely disappointed and bewildered” by the report, saying that it could derail the possibility of a revival of negotiations.

Bonnet noted that the West’s efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions through diplomatic pressure and sanctions thus far have yielded little results. “The international community has tried everything -- persuasion, negotiations, and then sanctions,” he assessed. “But they have been faced with an Iranian government that has presented a façade of diplomacy, but has really pursued its operations underground.”

As for Israel, officials remained tight-lipped following the publication of the report, but two days earlier, President Shimon Peres had said that an Israeli strike against Iran was looking more and more likely.

It was one of Israel’s harshest statements yet in regards to Iran, and the Iranian military’s deputy chief, Brigadier General Masoud Jasayeri, replied that Israel would face “destruction” if ever it attacked the Islamic republic.

Western allies, including the Obama administration, have maintained that airstrikes would only drive the nuclear development in Iran further underground – an opinion shared by Bonnet.

“Given how dispersed the production sites are, an Israeli operation would not be effective,” Bonnet said. “Only a toppling of the Iranian regime would work”.
 

Date created : 2011-11-09

  • NUCLEAR IRAN

    IAEA: 'serious concerns' over Iran's nuclear programme

    Read more

  • ISRAEL - IRAN

    Israeli military threat against Iran is 'empty rhetoric'

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)