The UN nuclear agency is expected to publish a report “harsher” than its November edition on Iran next month, possibly triggering a military attack on Tehran, a political analyst says.
“Leaked statements about the upcoming report to be released in March claim it will include new details about an alleged effort by Tehran to develop a nuclear warhead for a ground-to-ground missile,” John Glaser wrote in an article published on Antiwar.com .
The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) board of governors is scheduled to convene on March 5 in Vienna.
“The more critical report next month has the potential to trigger even more belligerent responses from the US and Israel, and could set the stage for a military attack on Iran,” Glaser added.
In November 2011, the UN nuclear agency released a report accusing Iran of conducting activities related to the development of nuclear weapons before 2003 and saying that these activities “may still be ongoing.”
The report provided the US and EU with the excuse to level unprecedented sanctions against the Islamic Republic by boycotting the country’s central bank and oil sales and to further intensify calls for a military strike on Tehran.
The document echoes longstanding allegations by the United States, Israel and their allies that Iran is pursuing a military nuclear program. They have used the accusations as a pretext to impose four rounds of Security Council and a series of unilateral sanctions against Iran.
Tehran has categorically refuted Western allegation, saying that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency it has the right to acquire and develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Iran has also repeatedly opened up its nuclear facilities to international inspectors and called for dialogue and diplomatic means to allay the so-called Western concerns over its nuclear activities.
In the most recent of its confidence-building measures, the Islamic Republic invited and welcomed an IAEA delegation, headed by the agency’s Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts, on January 29.
Following the visit, Nackaerts said both parties have signaled their “commitment” to resolving the nuclear issue. “We had three days of intensive discussions about all our priorities. We are committed to resolving all the outstanding issues and the Iranians said they are committed too.”
Immediately after the departure of the IAEA delegation, the agency announced plans for another round of meetings in Tehran from February 21 to 22.
Iran has also expressed its readiness to resume nuclear talks with the P5+1 — Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States plus Germany, saying that it is awaiting European Union suggestions on the time and venue of the negotiations.
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