Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Syria voted co-chairman of the IAEA

Laugh or cry, what timing.Two weeks after Israel’s alleged bombing raid in Syria, which some foreign reports said targeted North Korean nuclear material, the UN’s nuclear watchdog elected Syria as deputy chairman of its General Conference on Monday...

...The Syrian news agency SANA proudly reported the election on Tuesday, adding that Syria was also successful in including “the Israeli nuclear arsenal as an item on the agenda of the conference.”

The agenda for the meeting includes the item “Israeli nuclear capabilities and threat.” While Iran will be a focus of the discussions, there is no item on the agenda referring to the Islamic Republic by name...

...But Gerald Steinberg, chairman of Bar-Ilan University’s political science department and an authority on nonproliferation, said the election “reflects the absurdity of the political process inside the IAEA.”

(Alan note: like Charlier the chief inspector being removed from his position because he stated he had found evidence that Iran was trying to make nuclear weapons.

IAEA Chief, El Baradei, an Arab ex-military man and reportedly married to the sister or daughter of an Iranian Ayatollah, immediately sidelined Charlier - including forbidding him access to all Iran related files at IAEA headquarters - when the Islamic Regime complained.

Reports also indicate he sat in long sessions advising Iran how to circumvent IAEA)!

The deputy chairman has no real power and is merely a symbolic post, similar to a deputy president of the UN General Assembly or a deputy speaker of the Knesset, he said. However, Steinberg added, “this move shows how little these types of international frameworks can really do when some of the main players are also the main violators of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

Steinberg said that both Iraq and Iran have held similar positions within the IAEA in the past. He also said there was no connection between the political level and the organization’s technological branches under the directorship of Mohamed ElBaradei, which inspect nuclear facilities.

The General Conference, made up of some 144 countries, is the least important of the IAEA’s three main bodies. The other two bodies are the Board of Governors and the Secretariat...

Related: Rice tells nuke watchdog to butt out of Iran diplomacy

(Alan: with all of the above in mind, no wonder!)

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice cautioned the U.N. nuclear watchdog group Wednesday not to interfere with international diplomacy over Iran’s alleged weapons program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency “is not in the business of diplomacy,” Rice told reporters traveling with her to the Middle East.

The IAEA’s role should be limited to carrying out inspections and offering a “clear declaration and clear reporting on what the Iranians are doing; whether and when and if they are living up to the agreements they have signed,” she said.

Rice was referring to recent comments made by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei, in which he criticized U.S. rhetoric about Iran...

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