Israel criticizes IAEA for stalling inspection of secret Iranian site

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bureau in Jerusalem released a statement criticizing the International Atomic Energy Agency for taking its time with carrying out the demanded inspections of the Iranian sites, that may contain nuclear materials and equipment. The Israeli statement comes after the nuclear watchdog declared its independence to be paramount, in an apparent response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s description of a “secret atomic warehouse” in Iran.

In a statement, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano asserted that his “agency sends inspectors to sites and locations only when needed,” while further underscoring that “it uses all safeguards relevant to information available to it, but it does not take any information at face value.” In contrast to the impression created by most media outlets, the IAEA neither denied nor contradicted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s revelations at the UN General Assembly regarding the existence of a secret Iranian site. According to Israeli officials, the phrasing of the IAEA statement is a masterpiece of excessive caution meant to comply with the agency’s mandate and regulations, neither leveling accusations and humiliating Iran, nor contradicting Israel’s allegations. According to IAEA officials, while most reports focused on the first part of the statement, it concluded by saying that “In line with established safeguards practices, all information obtained, including from third parties, is subject to rigorous review and assessed together with other available information to arrive at an independent assessment based on the Agency’s own expertise,” indicating a possible inspection in the near future. In response to this part of the statement, the Prime Minister’s office urged the IAEA to act immediately. He said: “There is no reason to wait. The IAEA must inspect the site and immediately dispatch monitors with Geiger counters” that will verify the Prime Minister’s words.