NEW YORK, Aug. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) decision to create a special task force devoted exclusively to Iran "is unprecedented and another strong indictment of Iran's nuclear program," said AJC Executive Director David Harris.
Announcement of the IAEA task force comes as Tehran hosts this week the Non-Aligned Movement summit. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is participating, despite Iran's flagrant rebuff of four binding UN Security Council resolutions and regular IAEA reports sharply criticizing its nuclear program.
"IAEA Director Amano deserves much admiration for tenaciously pursuing Iran," said Harris. "Iran's stonewalling of the international community, while advancing its drive for nuclear-weapons capability, is an intolerable threat to regional and global security."
Not for the first time, Iran's slighting of the IAEA was on display last Friday. Meeting at the UN nuclear watchdog's headquarters in Vienna, Iranian representatives again rejected requests to send inspectors to certain sites involved in the country's nuclear program. That session followed unsuccessful rounds of talks between Iran and the P5+1 group – China, France, Germany, Russia, the U.S. and United Kingdom.
A new IAEA report to be issued this week is expected to reaffirm the military dimensions of Iran's expanding nuclear program.
The Iranian government has voiced its desire to seek NAM approval for its nuclear program and condemnation of international sanctions. Iran's IAEA envoy, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said that his country will "not suspend enrichment activities, even for a second."
"Not surprisingly, Iran wants to exploit the NAM summit to get broad backing for its dangerous and deceptive nuclear program," Harris added. "Strong sanctions imposed by the U.S., EU and other countries, following UN Security Council actions, are the right response to the wholly uncooperative and untrustworthy Iranian regime. NAM member states should stand with those nations concerned by the prospect of a nuclear Iran, and not allow themselves to be used by Tehran."
SOURCE American Jewish Committee