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Thank goodness we have the United Nations organization to keep peace in the world. They have done a masterful job, haven't they ? The UN's atomic watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been investigating Iran's nuclear program for 4 years now. What have they found ? Heck, they don't know, because Iran hasn't been cooperating. Strange behavior for a country that claims to have nothing to hide, isn't it ? I remember Saddam Hussein playing the same cat and mouse games with the UN for over 10 years. That didn't turn out so well for Saddam, but it didn't have anything to do with the UN. The UN is good for passing resolutions and making strongly worded statements (especially against Israel), but that's pretty much it. When it comes to actually enforcing anything, the UN is about as useful as screen doors on a submarine.
According to an AFP article:
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "has so far not been able to verify some important aspects of Iran's nuclear programme," its director general Mohamed ElBaradei told a board meeting here.
He specifically cited key questions related to the scope and nature of Iran's centrifuge enrichment activities, "as well as those relevant to alleged studies and other activities that could have military applications".
As a result, the UN watchdog was "unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities," ElBaradei complained.
The Egyptian-born diplomat noted that the IAEA had seen an increased level of cooperation from Iran in answering questions about the past, but its knowledge of Tehran's current programme has "diminished" since 2006.
Furthermore, Iran's cooperation was more "reactive than pro-active," he lamented.
In other words, El Baradei doesn't know what the hell Iran is up to, and Iran is engaging in a pattern of disinformation.
But not to worry, the UN is ON THE JOB. As the AFP article also states, "(the IAEA's) 35-member board seemed divided on how to get Tehran to shed more light on its activities".
Sooo, the UN asked for cooperation for years, Iran didn't give it to them, and now the IAEA can't decide what to do. Same as it ever was. The West largely wants sanctions, arguing that Iran only cooperates when forced to cooperate in the face of real consequences (yeah, no kidding), but another faction, led by that world beacon of freedom and human rights, Cuba, disagreed. Those "non-aligned nations" (do I even have to list them ? You know who they are: Russia, China, Arab league, etc) described Iran's non-cooperation as "a very positive step". I kid you not. That's really what they said, and somehow, everyone in the room didn't burst into uncontrollable laughter when they said it. Those UN people must have lots of self-control. I would have been on the floor.
Finally, the AFP article states that "Iran's UN envoy to the IAEA, Ali-Asghar Soltanieh, warned that any talk of possible sanctions would be "counterproductive"". RIIIIIGHT. I presume he means counterproductive to Iran, which is the whole argument IN FAVOR OF sanctions.
On the bright side, the UN is going to issue a report and schedule more meetings. Terrific.
What could possibly go wrong ?