Will Iran get a clean bill of health from the IAEA?

MICHAEL URBAN/AFP/Getty Images The gleeful spin from Tehran ahead of the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s nuclear activities, due any day now, is that the IAEA will declare Iran “clean.” In other words, the agency will say that Iran has answered all the tough questions and that, as per the controversial ...

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596363_080220_iaea2.jpg

MICHAEL URBAN/AFP/Getty Images

The gleeful spin from Tehran ahead of the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran's nuclear activities, due any day now, is that the IAEA will declare Iran "clean." In other words, the agency will say that Iran has answered all the tough questions and that, as per the controversial U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, the country has no secret weapons program. Such predictions can be fairly dismissed as Persian bluster coming from the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but no less a figure than powerful Iranian cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani seems confident the IAEA will exonerate his country.

There have been rumors of a dispute within the IAEA over the technical findings of the report, though the organization denies any serious internal disagreements. If anything, the dispute is likely to come from the United States and its European allies, who want to see a third round of U.N. sanctions imposed on Iran. A clean bill of health would obviously undermine that push. TFB, one anonymous IAEA offical told Reuters:

MICHAEL URBAN/AFP/Getty Images

The gleeful spin from Tehran ahead of the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s nuclear activities, due any day now, is that the IAEA will declare Iran “clean.” In other words, the agency will say that Iran has answered all the tough questions and that, as per the controversial U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, the country has no secret weapons program. Such predictions can be fairly dismissed as Persian bluster coming from the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but no less a figure than powerful Iranian cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani seems confident the IAEA will exonerate his country.

There have been rumors of a dispute within the IAEA over the technical findings of the report, though the organization denies any serious internal disagreements. If anything, the dispute is likely to come from the United States and its European allies, who want to see a third round of U.N. sanctions imposed on Iran. A clean bill of health would obviously undermine that push. TFB, one anonymous IAEA offical told Reuters:

If the facts are at odds with the policy objectives of some people who are keen to impose further sanctions on Iran, that’s too bad.

In all likelihood, the IAEA’s forthcoming report will not clear up all the remaining issues, especially when it comes to weaponization. But that won’t stop the Iranians from declaring victory.

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