Beirut (AsiaNews) - Iran's nuclear programme is back in the spotlight after the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that Tehran is not co-operating with an investigation into suspected secret work on nuclear weapons. Statements by Israel's prime minister that his country was "ready" to attack and revelations that Jerusalem planned to attack Iranian nuclear sites in 2010 have not made matters easier.
Yesterday, IAEA chief Yukio Amano told the UN General Assembly that although talks between the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran have intensified this year, "Iran is not providing the necessary co-operation to enable us to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities." Hence, "we cannot conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities".
Iran's UN Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee rejected the claims in the IAEA report saying they are "not credible" and based on "forged reports" provided by Israel and the United States.
In Israel last night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Channel Two television that if he was re-elected, "Iran will not have the atomic bomb". For the Israeli leader, iran is bent on destroying israel, but "If there's no other way, Israel is ready to act."
Channel Two also reported on Sunday that Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak had given orders in 2010 for the military to prepare an attack against Iranian nuclear facilities.
The orders were later rescinded in the face of the opposition of then chief of staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi and then Mossad spy chief Meir Dagan, the television said.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies, an independent, nonpartisan academic institute based at Tel Aviv University according to its own description, conducted a simulated attack against Iran's nuclear facilities. It concluded that reaction would be "in the direction of containment and restraint," and not trigger World War Three.
In Tehran, Iranian lawmaker Mohammad Hossein Asfari told Press TV, a state-owned 24-hour English language news network, that Iran had no plans to suspend its uranium enrichment programme.
Asfari, who works on foreign policy and national security issues, said he had told Iran's ISNA news agency that Iran would be ready to temporarily stop enrichment to 20 per cent if sanctions were lifted.
For now though, every bet is off until the new US president is known. (PD)