Teheran threatens to cut ties with IAEA

Iran warns of cutting ti

November 29, 2009 11:25
2 minute read.


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Two days after the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency passed a resolution censuring Iran, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani issued a warning of his own that Teheran may cut cooperation with the UN nuclear agency watchdog. "If the West continues to pressure us, then parliament can review Iran's cooperation level with the IAEA," he told the assembly. According to Larijani, "If the Western powers continue to use the ridiculous policy of sticks and carrots, Teheren too will form a new type of relationship with the West." The US and Israel expressed satisfaction over the weekend with what officials from both countries termed "a growing momentum" of international pressure on Iran to halt activities that would enable it to construct nuclear weapons. On Friday, the IAEA resolution censuring Iran passed by a 25-3 margin, demanding that Teheran immediately freeze construction of its newly revealed nuclear facility and heed Security Council resolutions to stop uranium enrichment. US officials said that the UN agency's censure of Iran demonstrated international resolve to pressure Teheran if it doesn't comply with international demands concerning its nuclear program. "We hope that the Board of Governors' resolution reinforces the message that we're committed to putting together a package of consequences if we don't find a willing partner. We hope Iran takes note of that clear message," said a senior US administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Israel's Foreign Ministry welcomed the IAEA resolution, noting that it was the first in over three years that the agency has adopted against Iran. But it called for real action on the part of other international bodies to give teeth to international demands on Iran. "The Iranians are still unconvinced that [international] threats and declarations will lead to sanctions," a senior Israeli diplomatic official said on condition of anonymity. "They think they can continue to squeeze this lemon. This reflects an internal debate in the Iranian [regime] over when to give in [to international pressure]," he added. The IAEA resolution was "a welcome development" because "we believe it strengthens the European and American capability for increasing pressure. The resolution is a real message to the Iranians that the international community is serious." The Foreign Ministry urged world powers to make certain the demands on Iran "did not stop with just rhetoric," according to ministry spokesman Yossi Levy. "There are two elements that will decide if international pressure is successful," Levy said. "One is an unbending schedule [for diplomatic talks], and two, a price tag for every Iranian violation. When these are in place, the diplomatic process will have a momentum that will ensure the sanctions on the Iranian regime are painful and effective." According to the spokesman, Israel views the IAEA resolution as proof "that the international community is increasingly coming to the understanding that a nuclear Iran is an extremely dangerous prospect."

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