The International Atomic Energy Agency released a report (pdf) yesterday on Iran’s nuclear program. Nearly all reports about the report called it “mixed,” which I tend to think is more of a comment about how various constituencies reacted to the report, than descriptive of the content of the report itself. The big question on everyone’s mind at the United Nations is whether or not this report provides justification for pursuing a third round of Security Council sanctions against Iran. And as you can see, the reactions to the “mixed” report are, in fact, mixed.
Chinese UN Ambassador Wang Guangya: “I don’t like to see this issue being discussed here [in the Security Council]. We already have two resolutions on the sanctions, and what do we have?”
American UN Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad: “For diplomacy to succeed, it needs widely supported, broad and biting sanctions to affect the calculations of the regime in Iran. I don’t believe the Chinese would want to take responsibility for the failure of diplomacy by not cooperating with the effort at additional sanctions.”
UK UN Ambassador John Sawyers: “The IAEA showed that they can’t even resolve questions about Iran’s past, that knowledge of present activities is diminishing, and they cannot clarify Iran’s future intentions because of the lack of cooperation. That is really worrying.”
Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili: “All the claims that Iran’s nuclear activities have a military agenda and are deviant are not true. The report says clearly that most of the ambiguities…have been removed.”
Former UN weapons inspector David Albright: “The main issue is that Iran now has 3,000 centrifuges. The report doesn’t even judge the quality of the information being offered, but it’s clear it is giving minimal answers.”
Meanwhile, hot off the presses, the Washington Post is reporting that Beijing canceled a Security Council meeting on Iran scheduled for the week after Thanksgiving. So at least for the time being, it looks like there will be no third round of sanctions.