Daily Telegraph – Editorial: We have seen too much subterfuge and procrastination from Iran as it has sought to hide its true intentions from the world. The Daily Telegraph
We have seen too much subterfuge and procrastination from Iran as it has sought to hide its true intentions from the world.
The governing body of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is meeting this week to discuss a report expected to show unequivocally that Iran is building a nuclear weapon. It will mean that Tehran can no longer sustain its attempts to convince the gullible that it is engaged in a civil nuclear programme. Moreover, those countries which, for interests of their own, have so far declined to contemplate tough measures against Iran will have no further excuses for their apparent indifference.
The IAEA's stand comes at a crucial stage in the United Nations' efforts to construct international agreement for aggressive sanctions against the regime. In particular, it will put Russia on the spot inside the Security Council to back America, Britain and France in urging the toughest action possible. Were Russia to come on board, China might be tempted to abstain in the crucial UN vote expected this month. The stronger line from the nuclear inspectors has followed the departure of the organisation's long-serving leader, Mohammed El Baradei, who left in December to contest the Egyptian presidential election. His Japanese replacement, Yukiya Amano, has overseen a far more clinical and direct report, according to Western diplomats.
For years, the IAEA has known that Tehran was building an atomic weapon but has been reluctant to say so, thereby making it more difficult to obtain an international consensus against the menace that a nuclear Iran would pose to world peace. We have seen too much subterfuge and procrastination from Iran as it has sought to hide its true intentions from the world. An unambiguous confirmation by the IAEA of what everyone believes to be true could be a decisive step towards settling this crisis without recourse to military action.