Pakistan must influence IAEA to remain on right track

ISLAMABAD: Dr Shireen Mazari, CEO of STR, has said that the IAEA DG’s Yukiya Amano accusations against Syria and Iran should be an eye opener for Pakistan as well. She feels her fears have been proven correct as increasingly Amano has been playing to the U.S. tune, she stated on Wednesday here.

Since the Pakistani nuclear assets are a central target of U.S. policy so Pakistan should be careful as America plan to take technical nuclear issues away from the IAEA to the highly politicized UN Security Council forum. “The fact is that Amano made these accusations public without conducting the usual backdoor diplomacy and technical verifications reflects a break with IAEA working traditions and the U.S. influence over him,” Mazari added.

STR’s concern is that Amano is clearly aiding and abetting in the Pakistan needs to lobby in the IAEA to prevent this trend from gaining ground as it would harm Pakistan’s nuclear interests in the long run. Pakistan is presently Chairman of the IAEA BoG and will remain so till September this year although it will continue to be a member of the BoG.

It is pertinent to mention that expert of defense and nuclear issues, Mazari, had expressed grave concerns earlier over the politicization of the IAEA with the appointment of Japanese Yukiya Amano as head of the nuclear watchdog.

His latest move in support of U.S. targeting of Iran and Syria’s nuclear program – despite both being parties to the NPT and subject to IAEA safeguards in place – comes in the shape of accusations against them of illegal nuclear activities.

Interestingly, according to Dr Mazari, this comes only a few days after the publication of the former Director-General of the IAEA’s statement that he had not seen “a shred of evidence” that Iran was “building nuclear-weapons facilities and using enriched materials.” Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Prize recipient who was at the IAEA for 12 years is quoted by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh as saying, “I don’t believe Iran is a clear and present danger. All I see is the hype about the threat posed by Iran.”

El Baradei’s remarks are part of an article by Hersh titled “Iran And The Bomb,” published in the June 6th issue of The New Yorker magazine. Hersh himself points out that the last two U.S. National Intelligence Estimates (NIE) on Iran’s nuclear development have stated that there is no conclusive evidence that Iran has made any effort to build the bomb since 2003.

The latest report, which came out this year and remains highly classified, according to Hersh reinforces the conclusion that “Iran halted weaponization in 2003.”

Hersh reveals that over the past six years, soldiers from the Joint Special Operations Force, working with Iranian intelligence assets, “put in place cutting-edge surveillance techniques” to spy on suspected Iran facilities. In addition Hersh states that in Iran the general belief is that the two Iranian nuclear scientists who were assassinated in 2010 were killed either by American or Israeli agents.

With all these doubts being cast on U.S. intent towards Muslim Iran and Syria, and with all overt and covert U.S. attempts to establish that Iran is producing nuclear weapons having failed so far.

About the author

Mubashar Nizam

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