IAEA is MIA on Israeli sabotage in Iran; promoting a fake ‘nuclear’ crisis instead.

The IAEA’s Grossi is helping promote a manufactured nuclear crisis with Iran by now complaining about Iran searching inspectors and not allowing access to a non-nuclear site, and yet has nothing at all to say about Israel earlier blowing up the same site along with IAEA’s own monitoring equipment there, after Iran had voluntarily opened it to inspectors.

Here, I intend to compare and contrast the IAEA, the UN, and the US’ reaction to Israel bombing a nuclear site in Iraq in 1981, versus Israel blowing up an Iranian {non-nuclear} site in June 2021, displaying the politicized double-standard as well as the fakeness of the recent manufactured “crisis” over access to sites in Iran by the IAEA. These sorts of faked, manufactured crises are generated deliberately to for example sell the war on Iraq. I have collected and made available excerpts from news reports at the time that show the US and IAEA’s reaction (and a couple are pasted below); compare that to the utter lack of concern shown today when Israel blows up monitored nuclear sites in Iran. What does this say about the legitimacy of the IAEA, and organization that isn’t concerned when a member-state blows up its own monitoring equipment and undermines its own mission?

Rafael Grossi, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has recently returned from Iran and is complaining about how the IAEA has not been given access to a workshop in Karaj where parts for centrifuges (used to enrich uranium to make nuclear reactor fuel) are made in Iran.

The US media, as usual, has grasped onto this and are exaggerating it as proof of Iranian nefariousness, and cause for “rising tensions at the IAEA” because supposedly the IAEA is now unable to confirm a “continuity of knowledge” about Iran’s nuclear program, whatever that means. US Generals are threatening military force too; note the threat is by itself a Crime Against Peace and violation of the Nuremburg Principles (for which people were hanged in the past) since there’s no justification for the use of force especially against an NPT-compliant nuclear program in Iran. Even planning or preparing, to do so, is a crime:

CRIMES AGAINST PEACE: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy…

crime against peace | war crime | Britannica

What Grossi means by “lack of continuity in knowledge” at the Karaj facility is that the IAEA can’t trace how/where the centrifuge components are made and end up being used, which sounds scary until you realize a few tidbits that the US media coverage consistently leaves out of this their reporting on this event:

1- There’s no nuclear crisis even if the JCPOA failes because the NonProliferation Treaty is still in force and Iran is in full compliance with it, allowing more than the required inspections. (in fact Iran continued to permit the JCPOA inspections even as it started countermeasures to Trump’s violation of the agreement.) The NPT is the only binding international treaty actually dealing with the issue of nonproliferation (and disarmament, though the nuclear-armed signatories would rather you ignore that obligation.) And Iran’s 1974 safeguards with the IAEA, the only actually-legally binding document, only and “exclusively” authorizes the IAEA to inspect only declared nuclear sites to account for declared nuclear material. (Remember folks, the US and Obama themselves said the JCPOA is ‘non-binding’ and merely a political agreement, so Iran can’t be ‘violating’ it.)

2- The US media falsely refer to the Karaj centrifuge site as a “nuclear site” which it is not — there’s no nuclear material there. Normally, the IAEA would not be inspecting non-nuclear sites like centrifuge manufacturing facilities at all, in any country, ever. So not visiting this site is hardly a reason for the cooked-up crisis being promoted in the media. The legal authority of IAEA inspections is limited to declared fissile material and the declared places where they are stored, not non-fissile things like centrifuge parts or heavy water, though Iran has voluntarily allowed such visits as confidence-building gestures (only to have the sites blown up.)

3- The news reports don’t mention that the Iranians say this particular site was specifically excluded from the Sept 12 agreement that Grossi claims Iran has “violated” (you can’t ‘violate’ a non-binding agreement, Grossi) and it was excluded because it had been blown up by Israel.

Iran says UN nuclear watchdog’s report inaccurate
BBC Monitoring Middle East – Political
September 27, 2021 Monday

Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Kazem Gharibabadi, has said a recent report by the IAEA General Director Rafael Grossi “is not accurate and goes beyond the agreed terms” of a recent agreement between Iran and the agency.

The UN nuclear watchdog IAEA said on 26 September that Iran had failed to fully honour the terms of a deal struck two weeks ago to allow the watchdog’s inspectors to service monitoring equipment in the country.

“It’s deeply regrettable that after 3 terrorist attacks in Iran’s nuclear facilities during past 1 year, the Agency has not yet condemned them, as it is required to do so by GC & GA [presumably General Conference and General Assembly] resolutions and even for the sake of its own equipment, safety and security of its inspectors,” Gharibabadi tweeted in English on 26 September.

According to the envoy, during the discussions in Tehran and Vienna, Iran indicated that since the Tessa Karaj Complex was still under security and judicial investigations, equipment related to this complex is not covered by the agreement.

“Therefore, DG’s report on 26 Sep isn’t accurate and goes beyond the agreed terms of the JS. Any decision taken by Iran on monitoring equipment is only based on political rather than legal considerations and the Agency cannot and should not consider it as one of its entitlements,” Gharibabadi said.

Copyright 2021 British Broadcasting Corporation All Rights Reserved

Iran says Karaj facility outside scope of deal with UN nuclear watchdog
BBC Monitoring Middle East – Political
September 27, 2021 Monday

The spokesperson for the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) has said that the TESA Karaj centrifuge component workshop near Tehran is not included in an agreement between the AEOI and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) allowing the latter to access and service its monitoring equipment in Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi’s remarks come in response to IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi’s report that Iran has denied his agency access to the Karaj facility in violation of the IAEA’s agreement with the AEOI…

Kamalvandi pointed out that the joint statement of 12 September only allowed IAEA access to “the identified equipment”. This wording had been used because Iran had not conceded access to the Karaj site, and had specifically wanted to exclude it from the scope of the agreement, he explained.

At the general conference, he continued, AEOI chief Eslami had, with “complete frankness”, rejected Grossi’s second request for access to the site.

“It is necessary for this international organisation’s [IAEA’s] officials to avoid wrong and biased reports and the adoption of deliberate political stances, in order to avoid destroying the constructive process created following the recent interactions between Iran and the IAEA,” warned Kamalvandi, who noted that Iran had sent a letter to the IAEA in protest.

Kamalvandi’s statement comes after similar remarks made by Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, who also accused Grossi’s report of inaccuracy, alleging that it went “beyond the agreed terms of the JS [Joint Statement].”

Source: Iranian sources in Persian 27 Sep 21
Copyright 2021 British Broadcasting Corporation All Rights Reserved

It is also quite interesting to compare the reactions when Israel bombed the Osirak reactor in Iraq in 1981. I’ve collected some of the contemporaneous reports here. The condemnations came fast and furious: there was a UNSC Resolution against Israel that the US Ambassador voted-for, there was an IAEA resolution condemning the attack threatening to suspend Israel from the IAEA; US officials claimed that trust with Israel had been “shattered”, and the IAEA Director General said that the Israeli attack was an attack on the IAEA’s safeguards. Arms control groups issued condemnations as did the Soviet govt. The French promised to rebuild the reactor (albeit not to use highly-enriched uranium, which they had previously provided to Iraq) and the Saudis offered to pay for the rebuilding too.

Dr. Sigvard Eklund, director general of the Vienna-based agency, told his board of governors immediately after the raid, ”One can only conclude it is the agency’s safeguarding system which has been attacked.”

THE U.N.’S NUCLEAR COPS COVER A TOUGH BEAR – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Among other points of the resolution: Israel was urged to place its nuclear facilities under international inspection; Iraq was entitled to “appropriate redress” for “the destruction it has suffered, responsibility for which has been acknowledged by Israel”; the Israeli attack posed “a serious threat to the entire International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards regime which is the foundation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,” and Iraq and other states had the right to employ nuclear energy for their economic and industrial development for peaceful purposes that was “consistent with the internationally accepted objectives of preventing nuclear weapons proliferation.”Addressing the Council just before the vote, Ambassador Kirkpatrick had said the destruction of the Osirak reactor was “shocking” because “diplomatic means available to Israel had not been exhausted.” She likened the Israeli air strike to the “brutal” Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and “the shocking violence” of Libya’s occupation of Chad.

-U.N. Condemns Israel for Raid on Iraqi A-Plant; U.S., Iraq Negotiate Resolution; Facts on File World News Digest June 26, 1981

‘The means Israel chose to quiet its fears have hurt, not helped, the peace and security of the area,’ she [US Amb. Jean Kilpatrick] said. Then, looking bleak, she raised a limp hand and joined the Council’s other members in a 15-to-0 vote strongly condemning the Israeli raid. The resolution stopped short of demanding mandatory sanctions against Israel, a course the United States would have vetoed; but the vote was one of the toughest rebukes Washington had ever delivered to Jerusalem. ‘The United States saved face in the Middle East,’ said one Arab diplomat. ‘The Iraqis won a moral victory.’.. At his news conference last week, Ronald Reagan said Israel appeared to have violated a 1952 agreement with the United States by using American-made F-15s and F-16s to knock out the Osirak reactor outside Baghdad. Softening, he also said that the Israelis ‘might have sincerely believed’ that their action was defensive in nature. At hearings before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee next day, however, Under Secretary of State Walter Stoessel Jr. took a tougher line. Asked if the evidence supported Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s assertion that the Iraqi reactor was designed to produce atomic bombs, Stoessel replied: ‘We would not agree. ‘

–              A Vote Against Israel Newsweek June 29, 1981


IAEA Director General Sigvard Eklund said the attack on the Iraqi nuclear center posed the most serious problem for the agency in the 20 years he has headed it…. ‘The agency has inspected the Iraqi reactors and has not found evidence of any activities not in accordance with the non-proliferation treaty,” said Eklund, appointed IAEA director general in 1961.

Eklund said Israel, which, unlike Iraq, has not signed the 1970 nuclear non-proliferation treaty, evidently was not assured by the IAEA’s findings.

”It has felt motivated to take military action,” Eklund said .”From a point of principle, one can only conclude that it is the agency’s safeguards regime which has also been attacked. Where will this lead us in the future ? This is a matter of grave concern which should be pondered well.”

IAEA: No evidence Iraq was making bomb, United Press International June 9, 1981

US State Dept official McFarlane testifying in Washington at Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings stated that Israel’s air attack on an Iraqi nuclear reactor had “shattered the trust and confidence” between the United States

            The Globe and Mail (Canada) June 19, 1981 Friday

Apparently the Russians issued a press release quite recently about the attack on the Iranian sites many months ago; it has not been reported in any English language source, so really, why bother? The IAEA Board does not exist as an abstract concept; it consists of its members who are people who make decisions for it, and this includes Russia. So, why should anyone take seriously an organization that has nothing to say about one of its own members blowing up its own work?

Grossi and the IAEA have no opinion about that, instead they have the temerity to now also complain about why Iran is now searching the inspectors more thoroughly.

Even there, Grossi is being unfair: It is nice to remember that under the terms of Iran’s actual safeguards agreements, the IAEA inspections are supposed to take place with minimal impact or interruption on a county’s nuclear program. There are all sorts of limitations that the inspectors are supposed to respect so their work does NOT hamper the program they’re inspecting

Lets start with Article 4 of Iran’s 1974 safeguards:

The safeguards provided for in this Agreement shall be implemented in a manner designed:
(a) To avoid hampering the economic and technological development of Iran or international co-operation in the field of peaceful nuclear activities, including international exchange of nuclear material;
(b) To avoid undue interference in Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities, and in particular in the operation of facilities; and
(c) To be consistent with prudent management practices required for the economic and safe conduct of nuclear activities.

INFCIRC214 – Text of the Agreement Between Iran and the Agency for the Application of Safeguards in Connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (iaea.org)

Article 5 requires the IAEA to protect the information it has obtained about a country’s nuclear program but in fact the IAEA has regularly made its reports available to the media, and apparently the Israelis have been monitoring the IAEA’s camera feeds and using the information to conduct sabotage. The IAEA has had no reply to this other than simple denial.

And then there’s Aritlce 9(c):

The visits and activities of Agency inspectors shall be so arranged as:
(i) To reduce to a minimum the possible inconvenience and disturbance to the Government of Iran and to the peaceful nuclear activities inspected; and
(ii) To ensure protection of industrial secrets or any other confidential information coming to the inspectors’ knowledge.

INFCIRC214 – Text of the Agreement Between Iran and the Agency for the Application of Safeguards in Connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (iaea.org)

So in complaining about Iran searching inspectors, Grossi seems to have it backwards: it is his job to protect the sites from sabotage that the IAEA has apparently been helping occur.

Finally, lets not that even US officials characterize the IAEA has merely a “technical agency” so Gross nor the IAEA have any authority to demand anything from Iran or any other signatory.

[This characterization of the IAEA as merely a technical agency was made when ElBaradei was the Director General, when he earned the ire of the Bush administration for stating that the previously nuclear undeclared activities by Iran involved no diversion of nuclear material and later, that they were unrelated to a nuclear weapons program.

ElBaradei was “invited” to the White House for a dressing-down, and reminded that the IAEA was just a technical agency. He was placed under pressure to favor the US-Israeli agenda in the IAEA. My next post with detail how the IAEA along with the OPCW (in charge of inspections for chemical weapons) were undermined, politicized and weaponized by the US, as evidenced by Wikileaks too, destroying their credibility and the credibility of the work they’re charged with doing & generally making the world a much less safe place with respect to WMDs.]