Contrary to the optimistic assessment of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Chief, Dr. Mohammad ElBaradei, DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s sources in Tehran report his mission to Iran Thursday, October 16, fell flat. He failed to obtain permission for snap inspections of nuclear and suspected uranium enrichment facilities or Iran’s consent to signing the Additional Protocol of the Non-Proliferation Treaty as required by the IAEA ultimatum.
The head of the international watchdog was only granted interviews with low-ranking Iranian officials – the secretary of the national security council, Hotajeslam Hassan Rohani, and the chairman of the Majlis foreign affairs and defense committee, Mohsein Mir-Damadi.
Neither hold positions of importance in the decision-making circles close to Iran’s spiritual supremo Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or the Iranian nuclear energy commission that manages Iran’s nuclear program.
ElBaradei told reporters before leaving Tehran that Iran had declared itself willing to accept tougher, no-notice inspections of its nuclear facilities by signing the Additional Protocol. He added, “I was assured by Dr. Rohani that the Islamic Republic of Iran will clarify all the outstanding issues for us to be able to verify all aspects of Iran’s nuclear activities.”
The words he quoted from the Iranian official do not corroborate his own statement.
Indeed, DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s note the chief nuclear inspector was contradicted in advance minutes before his plane landed in Tehran by none other than Iran’s representative at the IAEA, Ali-Akhbar Saleyi. As he prepared to welcome the guest, the Iranian official said in a press briefing that the Islamic Republic does not intend to bow to the international watchdog’s ultimatum by proving up until October 31 that it has no hidden nuclear weapons projects.
“As far as Tehran is concerned,” Salevi declared, “There is no deadline.”