Iran: Learning to whistle and walk away
alarabiya / Amir Taheri

As expected, Iran is back in the headlines, once again, because of its nuclear program.

The latest report by Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano suggests that suspicions regarding Tehran’s intentions may not be totally groundless after all. Iran may well have aclandestine nuclear program paralleling its official one.

To be sure, suspicion alone cannot be the basis for policy. However, the trouble is that, in this
instance, the Islamic Republic is a recidivist.

A decade ago, Tehran admitted having cheated for 18 years by secretly building facilities to enrich uranium in violation of guarantees to the IAEA.

At that time, IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei was unwilling to demand sanctions under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) which Iran signed in 1970.

The message to Tehran was clear: you could ignore the NPT and the IAEA and do as you please!

This was precisely what Tehran did. According to Hassan Rouhani, a mullah who was Tehran’s point-man on the issue, the clandestine program was accelerated.

In 2003, after the fall of Saddam Hussein, for a brief moment the mullahs feared that they might be the next target for “Bush cowboys” in Washington.

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