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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Former IAEA officials worry Iran won't get nukes

In an earlier post, I reported that former IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei (pictured at top left as Egghead, a villain on Batman 40 years ago - courtesy of MR, daughter #3 Child #5) had done more to bring about an Iranian nuclear weapon than anyone this side of AQ Khan. 'Former IAEA officials' confirm that assessment, lamenting new IAEA chief Yukiya Amano's 'pro-western bias.'
However, the British newspaper [Guardian] said, some former IAEA officials are saying that the agency has gone too far. Robert Kelley, a former US weapons scientists who ran the IAEA action team on Iraq at the time of the US-led invasion, told The Guardian there were worrying parallels between the west's mistakes over Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction then and the nuclear watchdog's assessment of Iran now.

"Yukiya Amano is falling into the Cheney trap. What we learned back in 2002 and 2003, when we were in the runup to the war, was that peer review was very important, and that the analysis should not be left to a small group of people," Kelley was quoted as saying.

"So what have we learned since then? Absolutely nothing. Just like (former US vice-president) Dick Cheney, Amano is relying on a very small group of people and those opinions are not being checked."

According to The Guardian, other former officials have also raised concern that the current IAEA is focused on suspicions over Iran's program, without the "vigorous debate" that characterized the era of Amano's predecessor Mohamed ElBaradei.

"They point to Amano's decision, in March last year, to dissolve the agency's office of external relations and policy co-ordination (Expo), which under ElBaradei had second-guessed some of the judgments made by the safeguards department inspectors," the report said.

One former agency official told the British daily, "There has been a concentration of power, with less diversity of viewpoints," adding that Amano has surrounded himself with advisors who have the same approach to Iran.
Amano's critics would have preferred it if his opponent - Abdul Minty, a South African diplomat who championed the interests of developing countries organized in the Non-Aligned Movement - would have become chairman of the IAEA three years ago.

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