head of Iran's Atomic Energy Org. Abbasi Davani_311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
BERLIN – The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani,
is slated to deliver a talk at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s General
Conference in Vienna on Monday.
Dr. Diana Gregor, a Vienna-based expert on
Austrian-Iranian relations, told The Jerusalem Post, “UN [Security Council]
Resolution 1747 does not allow Abbasi-Davani to travel abroad nor to hold
international assets. The EU also issued sanctions against him.
nomination of Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani proves yet again that Iran is determined
to pursue its nuclear goals. Abbasi-Davani does not at all want a change
of heart with regard to Iran’s hitherto course but recently announced that Iran
is preparing to triple its production of high-enriched (high-grade) uranium
(20-percent enriched uranium), which will significantly shorten the time
required to produce weapons-grade material,” Gregor said.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appointed Abbasi-Davani in February to oversee the
Atomic Energy Organization.
“Iran obliviously and repeatedly tries to
cover up and camouflage its nuclear ambitions before the IAEA
There are no economic reasons for Iran to pursue its
enrichment program. Iran’s gas reserves are sufficient enough to be generating
electricity that will last for years and years to come. However, Iran does not
have the slightest intention nor willingness to abide by the proposals and
resolutions that have so far resulted from negotiations. Iran simply does
not wish to come around. On the contrary,” Gregor said.
Karl Pfeifer, an
Austrian journalist who has covered Iranian terrorist activities in his country,
told the Post, “Austrian foreign policy is sometimes hard to understand abroad.
The Iranian Kurd leader Dr. Abdul- Rahman Ghassemlou and two of his aides were
murdered by Iranian agents on July 13, 1989, in Vienna. The perpetrators were
escorted by police cars to Vienna airport.”
Pfeifer added, “The Iranian
president can visit New York, and Columbia University students are thrilled to
meet with Iran’s mass murderer, and so nobody should wonder that high-ranking
Iranian officials receive an Austrian visa.”
American media outlets
reported last week that Columbia University students in New York plan to host
Ahmadinejad at a dinner banquet this week.
Last month, The Wall Street
wrote a scathing editorial titled “Iran Sanctions E-Z Pass. Tehran
officials exploit a loophole to travel the world.” E-Z Pass is an
electronic toll-collection system used on many tolled roads, bridges and tunnels
in the US.
called Abbasi- Davani a “dangerous man,” and
slammed gaps in sanctions targeting Iran that permit penalized representatives
such as Abbasi-Davani to travel freely.
“So what was Mr. Abbasi doing
giving a press conference in Vienna in June? As the recently appointed head of
Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, he can take advantage of a sanctions loophole
that allows him to attend intergovernmental meetings, particularly those
convened ‘under the auspices of the United Nations,’” the newspaper
“But there’s no point in enacting sanctions if there is no serious
intention of enforcing them. When the best the international community can do
against Iran is a sanctions E-Z Pass, it’s no wonder Iran’s illicit nuclear
programs are speeding ahead in broad daylight,” the Journal
Samuel Laster, a veteran observer of Austrian-Israeli
relations and editor-in-chief of the Vienna-based Jewish news and blog site Die
Jüdische, told the Post in connection with Abbasi’s visit that “the IAEA, which
is based in Vienna, should press for greater control and not continue to act
like a toothless entity under ElBaradei.”
Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, an
Egyptian scientist, was director-general of the IAEA from 1997 to 2009, and was
criticized for a lax approach toward inspecting and scrutinizing Iran’s nuclear
Laster, who was raised in Israel and served in the
IDF, told the Post
that “Austria should enforce the sanctions and not place them
in question” concerning Abbasi’s visit.
“Vienna has always been an
important strategic place for Iran. Austria’s foreign minister has the
possibility to stop beating around the bush and to severely criticize Iran,” he
“Austria should not continue to seek dialogue with such figures”
like Abbasi, Laster said.