IAEA Heads Back to Iran, Intent on Seeing Parchin Military Site
The United Nations atomic watchdog agency sent inspectors back to Iran this week, intent on seeing the Parchin military complex. Parchin is the site where the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reported the Islamic Republic is believed to have conducted nuclear tests with military applications.
Iran may be covering up military-grade nuclear explosives tests, a question the U.N. agency would like to resolve once and for all.
On Thursday, IAEA representatives are to meet with Iranian officials for the first time since August. The question of whether Iran added a military application to its nuclear development activities is on the agenda.
IAEA Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts told reporters at a news conference, “We also hope that Iran will allow us to go to the site of Parchin. If Iran will grant us access, we would welcome that chance and are ready to go.”
Iranian atomic energy czar Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, however, appears not to have any intention of cooperating with the U.N. agency on touring Parchin. The international inspectors “will come to Tehran and they will have discussions with our representatives here,” he said firmly in a statement to the Iranian state-run Mehr News Agency.
Meanwhile, the Canadian government announced its decision Wednesday to include 98 more Iranian entities on its sanctions blacklist. Canadian Foreign Minister John Byrd told reporters that the added sanctions will contribute to the financial isolation of Iran, still defiant over a mandate by the United Nations to halt the continued enrichment of uranium in its nuclear development program.
Israel has warned repeatedly that Iran's nuclear development activities are rapidly becoming a threat to the entire world. At the United Nations General Assembly this past year, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu even went so far while at the podium to actually draw a diagram -- an illustration of a ticking time bomb ready to explode -- upon which he drew a red line to illustrate the point at which there would no longer be a possiblity of preventing Iran from completing the task of building an atomic weapon of mass destruction.