Nuclear Deal: Iran set to rejoin the game

28 September 2015, News Wires – When Yukiya Amano became head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), replacing Mohamed ElBaradei in 2009, the Iranians were quick to point to documents revealed in the Western press raising questions over his impartiality.

Iran nuclear dea - lPresident Hassan Rouhani

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran

Amano was a tool of the US and Israel, Iran alleged.

As if to prove Amano’s critics right, the IAEA’s reports changed tone, highlighting issues that, under ElBaradei, had been effectively dismissed as lacking in evidence and credibility, notably the claim that Iran had carried out nuclear weaponisation tests earlier this century.

The UN agency’s changed posture was a key element in efforts by the US and others to mobilise world opinion against Iran and impose strict sanctions.

Last week, Amano was feted in Tehran by President Hassan Rouhani and other senior officials. Behind the scenes, IAEA inspectors and Iranian military and scientific figures were “inspecting” the Parchin military site. Iranians took soil and other samples as IAEA inspectors watched on TV screens.

The elaborate charade saved Iranian pride in keeping “foreigners” out of sensitive military areas, while letting the IAEA get what it wanted. And it seems to have worked.

At this stage, with Iran the latest potential darling of Western governments and oil companies, it seems impossible to imagine any kind of IAEA report that would damage the process.

We seem to be on track for Iran’s return to energy markets early next year, even as the markets struggle to cope with a glut in supplies.

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