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A Sign of Cooperation?

A Sign of Cooperation?

Iran allowed inspectors from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the nuclear reactor at Arak for the first time in a year and has also granted them greater monitoring of uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz. The accord breaks a months long impasse between Iran and the IAEA. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, while some diplomats hope that Iran’s decision signals a greater willingness by President Ahmadinejad’s government to cooperate, other diplomats are cynical about Iran’s intentions believing that Tehran’s conciliatory line toward the IAEA might be an early step to split the Security Council on the sanctions issue.

The United States, Britain, France and Germany, are expected to urge Russia and China in talks on September 2 to consider a fourth round of U.N. sanctions on Iran. President Obama has repeatedly stated his intention of pushing for more sanctions on Iran if it does not agree to come to the negotiating table by late September. A big factor in the decision to push for more sanctions will be the IAEA’s latest report on Iran’s nuclear program to be released early next week.

The report is already causing controversy. According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Israeli officials have accused the IAEA of hiding data on Iran’s drive to obtain nuclear arms. The newspaper alleged that the new evidence submitted to the IAEA in a classified annex written by its inspectors in Iran, indicating Iran’s intention to pursue military applications for its nuclear program, was not incorporated into the agency’s published reports.

For more information on Iranian Nuclear Program, here is the IAEA website on Iran.



Sahar Zubairy

Sahar Zubairy recently graduated from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas- Austin with Masters in Global Policy Studies. She graduated from Texas A&M University with Phi Beta Kappa honors in May 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. In Summer 2008, she was the Southwest Asia/Gulf Intern at the Henry L. Stimson Center, where she researched Iran and the Persian Gulf. She was also a member of a research team that helped develop a website investigating the possible effects of closure of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf by Iran.