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Monday, January 22nd 2007

Iran To IAEA: Don't Step Off That Plane!

Iran has barred 38 specific nuclear inspectors from entering the country. Not to worry says the IAEA,

The IAEA confirmed Iranian word of the ban but said this would not handicap its monitoring of a plant where Iran plans soon to expand from experimental into industrial-scale output of nuclear fuel in defiance of a U.N. Security Council resolution.

Of that one little facility. The rest of the country, wide open for centrifuge installment. That isn’t fair. It isn’t like inspectors are going around looking for “secret” facilities, they merely monitor the ones they’re given access to/know about. Which is why the monitoring program is a joke anyway.

True, you can’t just build an enrichment facility in an abandoned warehouse without intelligence getting out, but still we should take the entire “watch dog” activities of the IAEA with a grain of salt.

“There may be some thought in Iran that this (ban) could be one of the things they could do that wouldn’t really harm the inspection effort but still look dramatic and hardline (for domestic consumption),” said a diplomat familiar with the case.

Iran has a legal right to reject any inspector it wants since such a step is not prohibited by its safeguards accord.