IAEA Visit to Iran May Quash ‘Hysterical War Talk’

Officials in the International Atomic Energy Agency are meeting in Iran this week for the second round of talks in a month on the status of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, a meeting that could potentially stymie efforts in the West to preemptively strike Iran.

“This meeting is a crucial opportunity for everyone, including the Iranians, to get serious,” Arms Control Association Director Daryl Kimball told Bloomberg Businessweek. “Getting serious means focusing on the near-term problem that 20 percent enriched uranium represents” which drives the “hysterical war talk in some quarters.”

Iran is not developing nuclear weapons and has not demonstrated any intention of doing so, according to the U.S. military and intelligence community. The latest IAEA report, while exaggerated in the media, confirmed Iran’s nuclear material was not being diverted to a weapons program.

Still, hawks in both Israel and the United States insist on believing Iran is determined to develop nuclear weapons. The government of Israel, currently led by the right-wing administration of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been decidedly for a preemptive military attack on Iran, while the Obama administration has pushed back, preferring instead to cripple the Iranian economy through harsh economic sanctions and support proxy terrorism against Iranian civilians.

The instability has not only raised the specter of war, but has disrupted international oil markets. Oil prices jumped to a nine-month high of nearly $105 a barrel this week after Iran announced the halt on exports to Britain and France, for their continued “hostile acts.” Some analysts predict they could hit $150 per barrel if tensions continue to escalate.

Iran sent the European Union a letter on February 15 requesting a resumption of negotiations at the “earliest possibility.”  The U.S. is expected to respond this week to that request, according to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

Last 5 posts by John Glaser

Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.

  • duglarri

    Time to switch terminology, John; the hawks no longer pretend that Iran is working on a nuclear weapon. Lieberman's switch of the terminology to "nuclear capability" means that the IAEA is behind the curve; the point is no longer that they don't make a nuclear bomb; the point is that they are not to be allowed the capability to make one.

    Now we may watch as the IAEA people realize in horror that they've been used, that what they thought they were doing was getting some leverage to get some questions answered, and now they are about to find that they are pawns to be discarded on the road to war.

    • El Tonno

      What makes you think the IAEA is getting nervous? I'm sure Amano will just staple the fax from the State Department to the précis and not even read it.

    • NukeScience

      Close, but not quite right. Iran now doesn't have the 'capability' to make a bomb, isn't even close, and the inspectors keep saying they aren't even trying.

      This rhetoric is instead saying that Iran isn't allowed to have a civilian nuclear program.

  • the lion

    the IAEA is no different from Unscom, being used to pretend that Iran has capabilities that it doesnt or doesnt wish to persue!

    The problem here is that the Dirty Bombs that will be made by Israel blowing up UN sanctioned sites will mean that Israel again commits huge War Crimes.

    In fact the CLEVEREST thing Iran could ever do is NOT to retaliate if Israel causes radiation hazards from bombings. Make Israel suffer by sanctions, Oh thats right its against Israeli Law to sanction them!

    • Windpower

      Yeah, but can Israel outlaw the wind? The wind blows from Iran towards Israel.

  • Watson

    Seems to be a problem with the UN team; they sent 'experts' rather than 'inspectors' and there will be no on-site inspections. Looks like the warmongers have won for now.

  • Johnny_Warbucks

    I wouldn't bet on that. This is not the first time that IAEA visits Iran, declares that there is nothing to squawk about and Israel and the US ignore their findings and scream louder that "Iran has a nuke!" None is so deaf or blind as those who do not want to hear or see. Israel is hell-bent in going after Iran and Israel, the bratty bully child of a rich family concerned only with their vices, always gets what it wants.

  • NukeScience

    The problem that 20% enriched uranium represents … which is None At All. Couldn't make that stuff explode if you wanted to. You need like 98% enriched uranium to build a bomb.

  • baz

    the IAEA is owned by the US and given that Iran is currently in a weak negotiating position because of its crushing sanctions, i bet you will find the US in no mood to negotiate but rather to tighten the noose and try to break Iran.

    This strategy will fail. Like all things, there are highs and lows and while iran is in a low right now, several years down the line they will be in the position of strength and then our foolish government will start blaming others (including political opponents) for irans victories in the middle east

  • rick

    according to MSNBC, the IAEA left this morning (wed) or a little wile ago without an answers and they were in a hurry to go…whatever that means…but it sounds like they failed…