|IAEA chief inspector Herman Nackaerts|
The International Atomic Energy Agency, which serves as the UN's nuclear watchdog, told diplomats today in a three-hour long closed-door briefing in Vienna that they are "very concerned" about what is going on at Iran's Parchin military facility. The IAEA's request to visit the site, which has been flatly refused by the Tehran regime, is now more urgent. Chief inspector Herman Nackaerts said the U.N. agency was monitoring the site, southeast of Tehran, via satellite imaging. A Western diplomat who participated today is quoted saying "It is very clear that Iran doesn't want the agency to go to Parchin because it has something to hide".
What might that be? Last November, the agency reported that there was “a large explosives containment vessel” at Parchin for large-scale conventional explosives tests consistent with designing a nuclear warhead for Iran's Shahab-3 ballistic missiles. At this point, we want to remind our readers that almost exactly two years ago to the day, we wrote a blog entry under the headline "19-Feb-10: Iranian migraine - finally recognized for what it is":
Finally, after years of double-talk and wink-wink-nod-nod looking the other way, the International Atomic Energy Agency now - when it's basically too late to do anything about it - announces, in effect, that the Israelis were right all along and the Iranians are cooking up a doomsday plot with their eyes wide open. Why now? Perhaps because the unlovely and certainly unlamented Mohammed Mustaffa El Baradei who ran the IAEA for years has left and gone back to Egypt to run for the presidency. Four months ago, speaking (of all places) in Tehran, this Nobel Peace Prize laureate said "Israel is the number one threat to Middle East". He was in Iran, as the newsagencies like to put things, "for talks with Iranian officials over Teheran's nuclear program"...but those talks somehow never lead this highly ideological individual to say what Blind Freddie could see: that the Mullahs and the Ayatollahs are in a headlong rush to become a nuclear force. A month before his visit to Teheran, El Baradei was quoted by the BBC saying that there was "no credible evidence" about an Iranian weapons attempt. He said: "I do not think based on what we see that Iran has an ongoing nuclear weapons programme." Thank heavens he's gone. If only it had been much sooner.