image Photo: Reuters

New IAEA head, same Iranian disputes

U.S. President Donald Trump insisted that contrary to reports, Iran is murdering thousands of its citizens. Speaking alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the American leader insisted that the Ayatollah regime deliberately cut off the internet to hide atrocities committed against its own people.

“I also brought up, and I’ll bring it up right now —- the fact that Iran is killing perhaps thousands and thousands of people right now as we speak,” Trump alleged, asserting “That’s why they cut off the internet. They cut off the internet so people can’t see what’s going on.”

After saying “frankly, I don’t know how you get in there, I don’t know how you do your business,” the American leader said “the press ought to get in there and see what’s going on, because the word is that thousands of people are being killed in Iran that are protesting. You are hearing that too. Not just small numbers, which are bad; big numbers, which are really bad – and really big numbers.”

The U.S. President made the remarks on the sidelines of the London conference of NATO, which is marking 70 years since its founding.

In related news, newly-appointed International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi has stated that pressuring Iran for explanation over the discovery of uranium particles at an undeclared warehouse in Tehran could be counter-productive.  “To put deadlines might not be the best idea,” said Grossi, adding “This would, for me, mean that we would be in a very, as I said, antagonistic relation(ship), where basically one side would be resisting and then I as DG would need to be putting deadlines.”

The 58-year old career diplomat from Argentina took the helm of the United Nations nuclear watchdog organization yesterday. Arguably, the most major challenge with which he must contend is the policing of the Islamic Republic’s disputed atomic development program. While Tehran has so far failed to provide a satisfactory explanation for the uranium identified by IAEA inspectors at the location first unveiled Israeli intelligence agencies; the same day he took up his new position, the new IAEA Chief urged continued patience from the international community. “Let me start my conversation with Iran,” said Director General Grossi. “ I don’t think it would be appropriate, and it would be unfair, to pronounce myself about their attitudes before I sit down with them.” He then acknowledged, “I’m the new kid on the block in this relationship. They’ve been there, now they get a new DG (Director General), so we have to sit down together, start talking and take it from there.”

It is important to note that Grossi is not expected to be any more vocal than his predecessor, the late Yukiya Amano, on the Iran issue. Alternately, Grossi is expected to be more expressive on other fronts, such as the role nuclear energy can play on reducing fossil fuel emissions.