09 November 2011
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has again found the regime in Tehran in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and said there was “credible” evidence that Iran has been conducting a covert nuclear weapons program. In its much-anticipated report, the United Nations watchdog said it had corroborated the IAEA’s own investigations with those of Western intelligence agencies and investigations into the network of A.Q. Khan, the rogue Pakistani nuclear scientist who shared know-how with Iran.
American officials have said they would use the report to increase pressure on countries that have been reluctant to do take action against Iran, especially Russia and China. "I can safely say the pressure is going to increase," Dan Shapiro, US ambassador to Israel, told JTA. "The IAEA report will provide information and will provide impetus that will lead the United States and a number of our partners to tighten the pressure."
Among the report’s conclusions is that Iran made "efforts, some successful, to procure nuclear related and dual use equipment and materials by military related individuals and entities." It had also sought "the acquisition of nuclear weapons development information and documentation from a clandestine nuclear supply network" and worked "on the development of an indigenous design of a nuclear weapon including the testing of components."
Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his regime would not retreat "one iota" from its nuclear program. In a speech to thousands of supporters in central Iran, and broadcast on live state television, he denounced the IAEA report as "baseless."
Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that his government had not decided whether to launch an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. "War is not a picnic. We want a picnic. We don't want a war," Barak said in an interview on ‘Israel Radio’. He added, however, that all options to halt Iran's nuclear march should remain open.
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