Jeffrey LewisCharbonneau v. Jahn: Will IAEA Throw Down On Tehran?

Blogging from the Aspen Wye River Conference Center today.

As expected Mohamed ElBaradei won approval for an over-precendented third term as IAEA Director-General.

The US continues last week’s spin that the failure to oust ElBaradei is a victory, arguing the United States “decided to back ElBaradei in exchange for what it hopes will be a tougher stance on Iran” as one Western diplomat told Reuter’s Louis Charbonneau.

We’ll see. The first test is a report to the board today or tomorrow by IAEA Deputy DG Pierre Goldschmidt. Charbonneau quotes a European diplomat suggesting the report will be hard on Iran:

“It’s going to be a tough report,” a European diplomat familiar with Goldschmidt’s draft speech told Reuters. “The Iranians are furious about it.”

Associated Press’ George Jahn, however, found diplomats saying the opposite:

Speaking on the eve of the 35-nation IAEA board meeting, the diplomats described the report on Iran – likely to be delivered Tuesday or Wednesday by IAEA Deputy Director General Pierre Goldschmidt – as relatively mild compared with previous summaries since that nation’s nuclear program became a matter of international concern three years ago.

Charbonneau v. Jahn. FIGHT!


  1. J (History)

    Isn’t the fact that Goldschmidt is delivering a presentation on Iran itself a victory for the hardliners? I had thought that the exercise of having special reports on Iran’s program at every BOG meeting had ended last fall, and that, instead, Iran’s compliance was to be simply mentioned as one of many matters in a general presentation by the DG. But, here you have Iran’s program once again commanding exclusive attention in a senior-level staff presentation.

  2. Fred (History)

    I’m not sure Jahn’s doing his homework here. The first IAEA report on Iran was in June 2003, two (not three) years ago. Also, ElBaradei was pretty tough on Iran in his opening remarks and at his press conference this week. It’s hard to imagine that Goldschmidt will be “milder” than his boss. Also, today’s news reports say that the IAEA is revising (!!) the draft report after the Iranians complained. So I guess it can’t be so mild after all. But maybe the final product won’t be so good as what the Iranians saw, eh???

  3. Fred (History)

    Well the final report was anything but mild! A major new revelation came in Goldschmidt’s speech, namly that once again Iran was changing its story about how long it was messing around with plutonium, according to the draft text leaked to members of the press (covered by AP, Reuters, New York Times, etc). Looks like the European who said it was tough got it right and the diplomat who said it was mild was out to lunch.