The United Nations Nuke Watchdog, IAEA director Dr. Mohammed El-Baradei has a history of appeasing terrorist powers looking to become nuclear, for example the Wall Street Journal described El-Baradei this way:
The IAEA director seems intent on undercutting Security Council diplomacy. Just weeks after President George Bush toured the Middle East to build Arab support for pressure on Tehran, Mr. ElBaradei appeared on Egyptian television on Feb. 5 to urge Arabs in the opposite direction, insisting Iran was cooperating and should not be pressured. And as he grows more and more isolated from Western powers intent on disarming Iran, Mr. ElBaradei has found champions in the developing and Arab world. They cheer his self-imposed mission — to hamstring U.S. efforts to constrain Iran’s program, whether or not the regime is violating its non-proliferation obligations or pursuing nuclear weapons.
In working to undermine sanctions, however, Mr. ElBaradei demeans the purpose of his agency and undercuts its non-proliferation mission. He also makes military action all the more likely.
Now there are accusations that El-Baradei is protecting Iran, hiding evidence that it is pursuing a nuclear weapon:
ISRAEL has accused the UN nuclear watchdog of hiding evidence that Iran is pursuing plans to develop nuclear weapons, it was reported yesterday.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz said the International Atomic Energy Agency under director-general Mohammed ElBaradei was refraining from publishing evidence obtained by its inspectors in recent months that indicated Iran was seeking information about weaponisation efforts and a military nuclear program. Citing “senior Western diplomats and Israeli officials”, the paper said the evidence had been submitted to the IAEA in a secret annex written by its inspectors in Iran and signed by the head of the IAEA team in Tehran.
Haaretz said officials from the US, France, Britain and Germany had been pressing Dr ElBaradei to include the material in a report to be released next month at the IAEA’s general conference.
The report will increase fears in Israel that the UN and other sections of the international community are not showing urgency or determination to tackle Iran’s suspected nuclear program.
However, Dr ElBaradei said the IAEA did not have any evidence suggesting Iran was developing a nuclear weapon.
While internationally the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is regarded as the major Middle East problem, inside Israel Iran’s nuclear program dwarfs the Palestinian conflict as an issue.
In its recent negotiations with the Obama administration, Israel has made it clear it would be far more prepared to resume the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks if the US addressed the Iranian nuclear issue more urgently.
Given comments made in the past by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejed that he would “wipe Israel off the map”, Israel fears Iran would be prepared to use a nuclear weapon against Israel.
Israeli officials believe they have had a victory of sorts, with Washington bringing forward the deadline by which Iran must begin dialogue with US and other officials over allowing international inspectors to examine its nuclear plants. US President Barack Obama originally said Iran needed to begin these talks “by the end of the year”, but US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, while visiting Israel recently, brought this forward to September.
Israel has made it clear it is prepared to make a pre-emptive military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities but it would prefer to have Washington’s backing for such action — Israel would need US intelligence and support as well as support from the US-backed government in Iraq to fly through Iraqi air space. Israel would require Washington to at least turn “a blind eye” to any such attack.
Two years ago, Israel made a strike against what it claimed was a nuclear facility in Syria, and Syria did not react.
But it is unlikely Iran would refrain from reacting to an Israeli attack — one response could be from Hezbollah, its ally in Lebanon, which has large supplies of missiles in southern Lebanon.
The US feared Israel was secretly preparing to make a strike against Iran several months ago, and Mr Obama sent his CIA chief, Leon Panetta, to Israel to seek assurances this was not the case.
One Israeli official told The Australian yesterday that in recent discussions between the US and Israel, Washington had made it clear it fears a “murderous” response by Iranian proxies in Iraq against the remaining US soldiers in that country should Israel strike Iran.
The official said Washington was concerned that all US troops should be out of Iraq before any Israeli strike was made against Iran. It would take about two years before the remaining US soldiers leave Iraq.
Haaretz reported that throughout Dr ElBaradei’s term, Israel had accused him of not tackling the Iranian nuclear issue with sufficient determination.
As Dr ElBaradei prepares to leave the IAEA in December, Israeli diplomats were concerned he would continue to hide the classified report, Haaretz said.
The paper said Israel was hoping Dr ElBaradei’s successor, Japan’s Yukiya Amano, would take a tougher line on Iran’s nuclear program.