Jeffrey LewisFormer IAEA DDG Goldschmidt: Refer Iran

Did you hear the one about the dehydrated Belgian

Pierre Goldschmidt, former IAEA DDG and now visiting scholar with the Carnegie Endowment, pens an op-ed in the New York Times calling for the IAEA Board of Governors to report Iran to the Security Council:

The agency’s board of governors will meet in Vienna next Monday to decide how to respond. At the moment there is no consensus or even a majority that agrees with Washington, Berlin, London and Paris that Iran’s noncompliance should be reported to the Security Council. Iran is vigorously lobbying its fellow developing countries on the board. While the agency’s statute makes clear that it should report Iran’s noncompliance to the Security Council, many board members are reluctant to do so, fearing a repeat of the dynamic that led to the war in Iraq.

It is important to remember that under the agency’s statute, there is no deadline or expiration date after which noncompliance becomes moot. Thus, Iran is still accountable for its past breaches. And Iran’s resumption of work related to uranium conversion eliminates the only reason for the three European countries not to report Iran to the Security Council.

A failure by the board to make such a report would considerably weaken the agency and the global nonproliferation regime. It would reveal that the world is unwilling to hold rule-breakers to account, inviting proliferation by other countries.

The op-ed follows comments by Goldschmidt, reported in the Telegraph, criticizing Mohamed ElBaradei’s handling of the Iran situation.

Goldschmidt reportedly told Con Coughlin, “El Baradei says that any judgement about Iran should be made on their intentions. My view is that we should look at the indications, not the intentions, and then decide.”

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Speaking of Belgians, I downed a couple last night at the Adams Morgan Cafe L’Enfant with Paul and the infamous Steele Means.

Then I discovered my car had been stolen. Good times.

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