When I first learned that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had signed an agreement permitting Iran to self-monitor at least one of its major nuclear sites, I shrugged off the news as a figment of someone’s heated imagination. It is inconceivable that the world’s nuclear watchdog, known for its professionalism and stringent monitoring, would sign-off on something so bizarre – or so I initially believed.
Iraq, whose nuclear activities, both civilian and military, were dismantled following the Gulf War, certainly did not get off that lightly. Even after years of intrusive inspections, the IAEA under the directorship of Mohammed El Baradei declined to present Iraq’s deserved clean bill of health to the U.N. Security Council prior to the U.S.-led invasion.
My view broadly reflects the opinions of many of Iran’s neighbours, fearful that the lifting of sanctions will see Iran’s coffers overflowing into the hands of its armed proxiesKhalaf Ahmad al-Habtoor