Ex-IAEA Chief: Iran Has Shown Significant Openness

Ex-IAEA Chief: Iran Has Shown Significant Openness
Ex-IAEA Chief: Iran Has Shown Significant Openness

The former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Hans Blix said Iran has tried to assure the international community that its nuclear program is solely peaceful and has “in the course of time explained a great deal.”        

Hans Blix who was speaking in an exclusive interview with Russia’s English-language news channel RT said Iran has “actually been more open for inspections (by IAEA inspectors) than they are obliged to be under the normal protocol.”   

He also commented that for Iranians the nuclear program is a matter of “pride” adding that they have had a “successful” nuclear scientific program for many years. “They need to be self-reliant, because at the time when they had a revolution, deliveries of nuclear materials and technology from the western world was stopped.”

Blix, who was the United Nations chief weapons inspector in Iraq (2002–2003), added that Iran wants to “use nuclear power to generate electricity,” that’s why they entered into “a big agreement with Russia to continue to build further plants in Bushehr and maybe further plants thereafter.”

Tehran and Moscow on November 11 concluded an agreement on the construction of two new nuclear power plant units in southern Iranian port city of Bushehr. They also signed a memorandum of understanding under which Russia will cooperate with Iran on production of nuclear fuel components in Iran.   

Iran already runs one Russian-built reactor in the Bushehr power plant which generates 1,000 megawatts of electricity. The plant, whose construction was delayed for years, was officially launched in September 2011. The former IAEA official also touched on “heavy pressure” from pro-Israel lobbies including the powerful AIPAC on the US government to prevent any deal with Iran over its nuclear program and said, “Behind AIPAC you have Israel, who doesn’t want Iran to have any nuclear installations at all.”      

In response to a question about Israel’s capacity to strike Iran’s nuclear installations Blix said, “They could hardly do it alone, both technically and politically. It is true that they’ve attacked Osirak in Iraq, and they attacked also an installation in Syria, but Iran is a bigger fish to fry.”