IAEA Director General: Say, these talks with Iran keep going around in circles, huh?

posted at 9:21 am on June 3, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

For years, we have written about the repeated stall tactics Iran employs to continue its work to produce nuclear weapons.  When sanctions bite a little too hard, Tehran agrees to talks, sounding reasonable and making promises of compromise.  When its opponents in the P5+1 talks begin to squabble amongst themselves and both Russia and China quail from enforcing the sanctions, Iran walks away under the pretense of some sort of insult.  It’s as regular and predictable as Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the football, and has been for the last decade.

The UN’s non-proliferation agency seems to have finally figured this out:

The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief said on Monday talks with Iran have been “going around in circles” – unusually blunt criticism pointing to rising tension over suspected nuclear arms research by Tehran that has increased fears of a new Middle East war.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, vented growing frustration at the lack of results in getting Iran to address suspicions of military dimensions to its atomic energy program. Tehran denies the accusations.

In hard-hitting comments to the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors, he also said Iranian advances in building a heavy-water research reactor and in its uranium enrichment work were in “clear contravention” of U.N. Security Council resolutions, dating to 2006, calling for a suspension in such activities.

The IAEA has been trying since early 2012 to engage with the Islamic state over what the Vienna-based U.N. agency calls the “possible military dimensions” to Iran’s nuclear program.

But ten rounds of negotiations in the last 17 months have failed to achieve any breakthrough. Western diplomats accuse Iran of stonewalling the IAEA, an allegation Tehran rejects.

“Despite the intensified dialogue between the agency and Iran since January 2012…, no agreement has been reached on the structured approach document. To be frank, for some time now we have been going around in circles,” said Amano.

To be frank, we’ve been going around in circles since the existence of Iran’s secret nuclear program became known in 2003.  Iran has shown no interest in curtailing their pursuit of nuclear weapons in the ten years since.  Why should they?  The UN has imposed sanctions that routinely get broken, which means that the regime can bolster its position while the Iranian people suffer.

Normally, that would produce serious political instability and an opportunity for the international community to leverage it to get rid of a rogue regime.  In fact, that did happen in 2009.  Unfortunately, the world stood around with its thumb up its collective backside as a truly grassroots and truly democratic movement — the Green Revolution — stalled in its tracks as the US initially proclaimed that the farcical elections four years ago produced a legitimate president in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ironically, four years later, the same administration that couldn’t lift a finger to help a rational, secular democratic movement in Iran now wants to stage a military intervention in Syria on behalf of an opposition composed mainly of radical Islamist networks, including a major al-Qaeda affiliate.  That comes two years after doing the same thing in Libya and unleashing AQ on Mali and turning most of Libya into a failed state.  Talk about going around in circles…

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A man’s greatest work is to break his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them all the things that have been theirs, to hear the weeping of those who cherished them, to take their horses between his knees and to press in his arms, the most desirable of their women. – Genghis Khan

America needs to throw the UN out and find it’s Genghis Khan to replace Obama and the rest (McCain’s and Romney’s).

Karmi on June 3, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Who gives a flock what the U.N. has to say about anything anymore, the entire organization is corrupt from the lowliest mail room clerk to the sec-general. There isn’t one of them who could manage a newspaper kiosk without managing to somehow burn down an entire block of nearby houses.

Bishop on June 3, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Will it go ’round in circles
Or will it (nukes) fly high like a bird up in the sky

Aplombed on June 3, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Ironically, four years later, the same administration that couldn’t lift a finger to help a rational, secular democratic movement in Iran now wants to stage a military intervention in Syria on behalf of an opposition composed mainly of radical Islamist networks, including a major al-Qaeda affiliate. That comes two years after doing the same thing in Libya and unleashing AQ on Mali and turning most of Libya into a failed state. Talk about going around in circles…

There’s three questions regarding Syria and any possible US involvement:

- Will Team SCOAMT finally stop listening to Joe Biden, the Mad Mullahs’ biggest cheerleader? After all, Assad is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iran.
- Will Team SCOAMT go against its principles and turn on somebody who opposed Bush? After all, Assad’s daddy hid Iraq’s nuclear weapons for him.
- What role does Team SCOAMT envision for Syria – an Iranian hammer on Israel or a Sunni anvil to Egypt’s hammer on Israel?

Steve Eggleston on June 3, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Smart Power! strikes again.

AZCoyote on June 3, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Wow! Only took these “intellectuals” TEN YEARS to figure this out!

GarandFan on June 3, 2013 at 9:53 AM

I thought it said IKEA chairman… I’m sure there’s a joke there somewhere.

osborn4 on June 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Brilliant forward thinking analysis like this is what you get when you pay somebody about 126.7% of his US government counterpart. Which itself is about double the going rate in the private sector. If I didn’t pay somebody to think for me I never would have realized Iran is gaming the system. Please, Oh please, tell me what to think some more.

Fenris on June 3, 2013 at 10:01 AM

The Islamist element is THE reason Obama wants to intervene in Syria. Overthrowing the Islamist element in Iran was the one thing Obama did NOT want.

Women in burqas and head scarfs is one of his goals.

GardenGnome on June 3, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Noooo, really? They must not have been students of history. This is kind of like what the north Vietnamese did in the Paris peace talks.

jake49 on June 3, 2013 at 10:37 AM

Neocons still trumpeting up a war with Iran. The problem is that US intelligence agencies disagree with you

U.S. still believes Iran not on verge of nuclear weapon

There has been a fever pitch push to get the Federal government to bomb Iran over the last year. It is my belief that neocons want to attack Iran before Ahmadinejad leaves office. The neocon warmongers have invested a lot into making him The Next Hitler. When he leaves office on August 3rd of this year, there goes their casus belli. After all, why should the US go to war after The Next Hitler steps down from office? How is he going to wipe Israel off the face of the earth if he is out of power? I expect for neocons and their outlets (like Hot Air) to make one last push for a war with Itan before Ahmadinejad leaves office. This is why I’m thankful that Obama is in office. With a president McCain or Romney, the US would already be plunged into another Middle East war.

antifederalist on June 3, 2013 at 11:34 AM

With a president McCain or Romney, the US would already be plunged into another Middle East war.

antifederalist on June 3, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Where have you been?

1) Sadly, we are already in a war. Check the newspapers.

2) The majority of Americans don’t want troops going anywhere but home and I think Mitt would have listened to them.

3) I love the Iranians but maybe we wouldn’t see them as being the new Hitler and Nazis if they stopped talking and acting like the old Hitler and Nazis.

4) What makes you believe that there will be a policy change in Iran when the present boss leaves power? I seem to have read somewhere that they have kingmakers behind the scenes in that nation and the vagaries of elections and different people in jobs don’t mean very much.

IlikedAUH2O on June 3, 2013 at 12:10 PM

antifederalist on June 3, 2013 at 11:34 AM

I pray that we never go and damage Iran in any way. I have Iranian friends.

However, they have given us about four times the excuse many countries have had for an all out war.

Let me know of an intelligence agency which disagrees with that.

IlikedAUH2O on June 3, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Sadly, we are already in a war. Check the newspapers.

IlikedAUH2O on June 3, 2013 at 12:10 PM

The last time I check I checked Iran hasn’t invaded the US territory or its airspace. Nor has Iran imposed attacked US town and cities or has it imposed a blockade around the country. Therefore, since Iran hasn’t attacked the US, there is no justification for the US to attack Iran.

antifederalist on June 3, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Well I had a decidedly evil, but self-defending, thought.

Instead of trying for peace in the Middle East we should exploit the differences between the factions of Islam and get them focused on fighting each other.

I’d be okay if they all killed each other. Don’t show me the pictures though, cuz then I would feel guilt.

Oh… and let’s frack and all that we can so we don’t need them anymore.

petunia on June 3, 2013 at 12:54 PM

The last time I check I checked Iran hasn’t invaded the US territory or its airspace. Nor has Iran imposed attacked US town and cities or has it imposed a blockade around the country. Therefore, since Iran hasn’t attacked the US, there is no justification for the US to attack Iran.

antifederalist on June 3, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Not much to see when you have your head in the sand…

Iran accused of hacking US energy firms

Iranian hackers have reportedly intensified their campaign against American firms, hacking into computer networks of several US energy companies, according to US officials.

A USA official was cited by the Wall Street Journal as saying that this is representative of stepped-up cyberactivity by the Iranian regime.

“The more they do this, the more our concerns grow,” the official said.

“What they have done so far has certainly been noticed, and they should be cautious.”

The latest attack was targeted at accessing control-system software that could authorise them to damage or destroy oil and gas pipelines in the future.

–Computer Business Review : Systems & Networks
Security

Here’s another analysis pulling in a few other sources to provide deeper historical context…

http://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/14703/hacking/new-wave-of-cyber-attacks-from-iran-hit-us.html

Time to get your head out of the sand…

dominigan on June 3, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Well, William Jefferson Bly (The Boy President) Clinton secured his re-election by selling the W88 TDP to the Chicoms.
This savings of perhaps $100 billion in R&D (to say nothing of TIME) for the PRC allows them to pursue a Blue Water Navy. They are only a decade or so away from challenging the ‘West’ in this critical arena.
So I suppose it is no big deal for King Putt to fritter away ANY strategic advantage with the Mullahs. They’ll have nuclear weapon in preliminary designs by … oh Hell they’re already there. Configuration & delivery designs will take a few more years more.

They might wait until the 2016 election cycle to ‘live’ test their ignition chain. If it works (at all) the Mullahs will announce news of a large local earthquake.
Killary will agree with that technical assessment.
The Low Information Voters will say, What?

Missilengr on June 3, 2013 at 2:05 PM

dominigan on June 3, 2013 at 1:58 PM

You really are grasping for straws. A cyber attack is not the same as a military attack and it certainly isn’t justification for bombing Iran. In any case, cyber attacks have gone both ways between the US and Iran.

antifederalist on June 3, 2013 at 2:51 PM

You really are grasping for straws. A cyber attack is not the same as a military attack and it certainly isn’t justification for bombing Iran. In any case, cyber attacks have gone both ways between the US and Iran.

antifederalist on June 3, 2013 at 2:51 PM

No, it’s more like a state-sponsored terrorist attack. So what’s your take on those? How should we respond in your view? I’m all ears…

dominigan on June 3, 2013 at 3:31 PM

No, it’s more like a state-sponsored terrorist attack. So what’s your take on those? How should we respond in your view? I’m all ears…
dominigan on June 3, 2013 at 3:31 PM

You neoconservatives will do anything to justify going to war. So I guess the people who hacked into my Hotmail account are terrorist? I guess they need to be weatherboarded. My solution, have the US government use better passwords and update their firewall/virus protection.

antifederalist on June 3, 2013 at 4:17 PM