Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dieter Bednarz from Spiegel writes a typically outrageous interview with an Iranian official

Not to learn anything, but as entertainment you may want to read this interview published by Spiegel, a German publication after the recent IAEA report with its much-hyped Annex of Alleged Studies that Baradei refused to include. If I was to guess, the report was written by Gary Samore in the Obama administration and Amano dutifully signed his name onto it.

Here is my favorite moment in the interview, delivered by Dieter Bednarz:
SPIEGEL: Israel's government fears nothing more than a nuclear bomb in your government's hands, and appears to be preparing an attack on your nuclear facilities.

Salehi: We don't anticipate an attack. Israel knows how delicate the situation is. As proof that our nuclear program is peaceful in nature, we have established the conditions necessary for the required IAEA monitoring. I'd also like to point out here that no other country has worked as intensively with the IAEA in this area as the Islamic Republic of Iran.

SPIEGEL: So you claim.

Salehi: During the most recent visit from Herman Nackaerts, the IAEA's head of nuclear inspections, we cooperated with the inspectors beyond the scope of our obligations. Mr. Nackaerts and his boss, Mr. Amano, even thanked us for our cooperation.
I see no indication from the interview that Bednarz understands even the basic outline of the dispute between Iran and the West over Iran's nuclear program, but a professional journalist could get up to speed relatively quickly with openly available sources.

One good source would be Daniel Joyner's article "Iran's Nuclear Program and the Legal Mandate of the IAEA", which argues that even if all of the claims of the Annex of the recent IAEA report are true, because that Annex admits the activities do not constitute the construction of any nuclear weapon, those activities are not prohibited by the NPT. This, according to Joyner, is why Amano expresses "concern", but cannot invoke any rule which these activities, if true, violate.

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