Press TV – December 21, 2011
A former chief of the UN’s nuclear agency has challenged the Western-led allegation that Iran’s nuclear program may be diverted toward producing a nuclear weapon.
Former Swedish Head of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Hans Blix told Russia Today news network on Tuesday that there are no indications in the agency’s latest report that Tehran is in pursuit of nuclear arms.
Blix added that the threats currently publicized by hawkish elements within the US government and the Israeli regime will not succeed in scaring off the Iranians from their present course and would not halt the nation’s drive towards nuclear energy.
“I do not see an immediate threat from Iran – but I can understand that the Israelis are nervous,” he stated.
Blix voiced optimism that the Israeli regime would realize the dangers of using nuclear weapons for real and not dare to attack Iran with or without them, since Tehran’s response would be immediate.
“Any kind of attack risks a total confrontation in the Middle East. Iranians are not sitting to tittle-tattle. They will have a counter attack and maybe they will drag the US into the war,” the former IAEA chief pointed out.
Blix, who was also the Chief of the UN Inspections Commission on WMD’s in Iraq from 2000 – 2003, argued that there were certain similarities between the futile search for weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq and Iran’s nuclear issue.
“In the case of Iraq, they talked about weapons that in fact did not exist. Today they are talking about Iranian intentions [on a military diversion] that may not exist,” he said.
The former IAEA chief stressed that the international community should keep the channels of communication open with Tehran, arguing that the colonial upper-hand tone that the West often adopts in addressing Iran should be dropped altogether, because the Islamic Republic should be treated as an important and equal partner.
“They are proud people as many other nations are,” he said.
Senior American officials and the Israeli regime have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the “option” of a military strike against the Islamic Republic.
Despite the rhetorical and widely publicized claims by the US, Israel and some of their European allies that Iran’s nuclear program may include a military diversion, Iran insists that its nuclear program has a civilian nature. The Islamic Republic argues that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never pointed to any evidence indicating that Tehran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted to weapons production.