Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

International 'Laxity' Agencies

Over two days, we saw the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Iranian regime release conflicting statements, giving us tangible evidence that we cannot rely upon the IAEA nor trust the Iranian regime.

Here is a summary of what transpired to those who had not been following up; IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi issued a statement, in Tehran, saying that Iran had allowed the UN agency to re-install surveillance cameras and enter undeclared facilities. He also claimed that the mullah regime also allowed the IAEA to access individuals involved in a faltering investigation. Iran denied these claims, so Grossi admitted that the assurances Iran had given him during his visit are hinged on future negotiations.

Reuters reported that when journalists pressed Grossi on the commitment Iran had made and the extent to which his stance depends on future negotiations, he said: “Why don’t you let us do our job? Unless you want to join us as an inspector, which could be interesting. We know how to do these things.”

“I believe that there is a good opportunity. I cannot guarantee, of course. When people say, these were (only) promises: well, first, it’s not (only) promises. We do have certain agreements which are concrete. And at the same time, I need to do my job and never give up,” he then added.

Grossi’s statements, those on Iran’s repudiation, mean that he did not share what had actually been agreed upon. Instead, he spoke of his “good intentions” - of what could be achieved through future negotiations with the mullah regime.

The negotiations with Iran through the IAEA cannot go on with such naivety and leniency. The Director General’s statements regarding Iran’s supposed cooperation were little more than an attempt to preclude us from blaming Iran and considering the 2015 nuclear agreement void.

In fact, the Europeans hinted at this idea last week, which the Americans met with reluctance, and now it is clear that Mr. Grossi is discussing what the negotiations hope to achieve, not what he has achieved through his visit to Tehran. There is an immense difference here.

The truth is that the laxity shown by this UN agency towards such a perilous matter is dumbfounding, given how lightly Iran has dealt with the situation. We are not talking about a disagreement over how a trade agreement is interpreted but rather the enrichment of Uranium that could leave Iran on the brink of reaching the nuclear threshold, which would change the region.

I use the term leniency because the IAEA Director issued other strange statements from Tehran that suggest he is keen on protecting the mullah regime from the military option. Indeed, Grossi has said that any Israeli or US attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would be illegal!

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu jokingly responded by saying that “Grossi is a person of value who made a statement of no value.” Thus, it seems that the laxity, or should I say, complacency, of some organizations warrants changing their name to international agencies of “laxity” with Iran. They have been lenient in addressing its malign actions, be it the nuclear program, the poisoning of Iranian students, or Tehran’s crimes in the region and Ukraine.