The world powers in November reached an interim deal with Iran to freeze and even roll back a portion of its nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief. The arrangement went into effect on Jan. 20 and is set to expire in six months. Another interim deal may be signed then, according to the agreement’s “Joint Plan of Action,” but the proposal calls for a comprehensive long-term solution by late January, 2015.
Though Iran is often painted as the only party at fault here, the situation is far more complicated. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and even some of the “P5+1” powers — the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, plus Germany — that are now negotiating with Iran, are also guilty of misconduct and unprofessionalism.
As the agency in charge of monitoring the Iranian nuclear program, the IAEA’s conduct should be beyond reproach. Unfortunately, it is not. As former IAEA inspector and 30-plus year veteran of the U.S. weapons complex, Robert Kelley has stated, “[t]he IAEA work to date, including the mischaracterization of satellite images of Parchin, is more consistent with an IAEA agenda to target Iran than of technical analysis.”
Similar flawed environmental analysis by the IAEA may have also occurred in Syria. “By openly providing a questionable technical basis for inspections,” Kelley, a nuclear engineer, summed up, “the IAEA is leaving itself open to a serious loss of credibility as a technical organization.”
Since roughly 2008, Iran has been in formal compliance with its safeguards agreement and the “nuclear crisis” has been unnecessarily dragged out, in part by the P5+1 countries pulling strings at the IAEA. To rebuild trust and reach a lasting solution, all parties to the negotiations — Iran, the IAEA and the P5+1 countries — should now come clean about any past misconduct.