A two-day meeting ended Tuesday in Vienna between Iranian and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials, ahead of a new round of talks between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany over Iran’s nuclear program, which is scheduled to be held in Baghdad on May 23.
IAEA deputy director general and head of the Department of Safeguards, Herman Nackaerts, told reporters “it is important now that Iran let us have access to people, documents, information, and sites.”
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said on May 4 that gaining access to the Parchin military site, southeast of Tehran, will be the priority for the UN nuclear watchdog when talks resume.
Tehran rejected requests by IAEA delegations to inspect the Parchin site during their visits to Iran from January 29 to 31 and February 21 to 22 and has made it clear that a framework must be agreed on for any access or visit.
Claims have been made that Iran may be trying to sanitize the Parchin site of any evidence of explosives tests.
A report released Tuesday by the Rand Corporation, a think tank that has strong Pentagon ties, strongly recommended against an Israeli or U.S. military strike on Iran and suggested that containment, while “dangerous”, would be preferable.
“An Israeli or American attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would make it more, not less, likely that the Iranian regime would decide to produce and deploy nuclear weapons. Such an attack would also make it more, not less, difficult to contain Iranian influence,” it said. “To prevent the rivalry between Israel and Iran from escalating into armed conflict, the United States should continue to discourage an Israeli military strike while strengthening Israeli capabilities in preparation for a future in which Iran may have managed to acquire nuclear weapons. U.S. leaders should bolster security cooperation and intelligence sharing with Israel while maintaining pressure on Iran, thus weakening its capacity to project power and fueling the debate within Iran over nuclear weapons.”
The AntiWar blog published a script it suggested its readers use when calling their representative in Congress (partial quote):
“I ask that you vote no on this resolution when it comes up for a vote today and to demand language stating that there is no authorization for war with Iran. Please have the courage to speak out publicly against the push for war and in support of a diplomatic resolution to resolve the nuclear standoff and other critical issues like human rights in Iran.”
Content by JTA was included in this article.