Excellent New Article on the Polonium IssuePosted: February 7, 2014
This is an outstanding new article by Jonathan Tirone, posted at Bloomberg. And very courageous – the IAEA under Amano does not take criticism well. But this is an important piece, setting the record straight about how bringing up the polonium issue now is both technically ridiculous, and threatening of the small signs of trust and cooperation that have started to emerge between Iran and the West. It includes some very good quotes by Bob Kelley and Tariq Rauf. It also cites to fascinating evidence of US and French officials intentionally trying to revive the polonium issue, after it had been resolved by the IAEA – which could be seen as an attempt to artificially gin up controversy where technically there was none, and thereby unnecessarily prolong the dispute between the West and Iran. As described in the article:
The IAEA’s March 2008 decision to suspend the investigation into Iran’s polonium experiments, made during Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei’s tenure, prompted French and U.S. diplomats to seek new ways to reintroduce the issue. At the time, some diplomats didn’t want ElBaradei’s initiative to resolve allegations against Iran to derail sanctions.
France “suggested intensifying our involvement in verification of formerly outstanding issues, such as polonium, by feeding the secretariat additional information,” former U.S. IAEA envoy Greg Schulte wrote in March 2008 after the polonium file had been cleared.
Congratulations to Jonathan for this very valuable article, and for his and Bloomberg’s courage in publishing it.