Jerusalem, Aug. 26 – Iran rejected the latest attempt by the International Atomic Energy Agency to have international inspectors determine if its nuclear program is not military, with a news report calling the failure a “setback in efforts to resolve the stand-off diplomatically.”
Diplomatic sources said Iran installed many more uranium enrichment centrifuges at its secrete Fordow underground site where it has refused repeated IAEA requests for inspection, Reuters reported. The IAEA concluded previously that Iran has taken steps to develop nuclear weapons. Iran insists its program is peaceful, but refuses to allow the IAEA to confirm.
The IAEA’s frustration has grown over the past decade as Iran continues to reject the findings of 37 IAEA reports, 15 IAEA resolutions and six United Nations Security Council resolutions, which all demand that Iran come clean on its nuclear program. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in a damning speech earlier this year said his agency could not conclude that the Iranian nuclear program was for peaceful purposes.
“It is hard to believe that anyone – not least Israel– would disagree with the conclusion that diplomacy is the preferred strategy for dealing with Iran,” two top Israeli experts on Iran wrote in the Times of Israel. “Not only has a string of diplomatic initiatives been attempted for almost a decade, all of these efforts have met with failure,” said Ephraim Asculai and Emily Landau. “Indeed, (U.S. President Barack) Obama came into office with his hand outstretched to all U.S. adversaries, and got a slap in return from Iran.”
Beyond the festering nuclear issue, U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague slammed what he called “Iran’s utter disregard for the most fundamental human rights.”
“Iran’s continued, widespread persecution of ethnic minorities, human rights defenders and political prisoners is a disgrace and stands as a shameful indictment of Iran’s leaders,” Hague said.