“The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) cannot fail to raise serious concerns as to the real nature of the Iranian nuclear programme”. Foreign Minister Franco Frattini was commenting on the IAEA document, which speaks of “credible and feasible information on activity conducted by Iran to develop explosive nuclear devices”.
Frattini underscored that the picture painted by the IAEA “makes Iran’s failure to respect its international obligations with respect to its nuclear programme and the numerous resolutions adopted by the IAEA’s board and the United Nations Security Council even more serious”.
For this reason, added the Minister, “a detailed reply from Tehran is now both necessary and urgent, if such concerns are to be dispelled”. Until that response arrives Italy feels that the information contained in the IAEA report calls for all the international actors to assume responsibility. The same applies to the need to prevent the dangerous destabilisation effects that an Iran equipped with atomic weapons would produce. The international community must take a firm stance, starting with the IAEA’s Board of Governors, which will be meeting in Vienna on 17 November 2011. Italy is acting in close coordination with its principal partners and with the European Union as a whole on this matter.
“I hope that Iran realises that it is above all in its own interest to reassure the world as to the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme. A goal”, concluded Frattini, “that Tehran can only pursue through concrete, genuine and transparent collaboration with the IAEA”.
Italy’s concerns are shared by the European union. A note from the office of the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, underscores that the new IAEA report significantly intensifies our current concerns over the nature of the Iranian nuclear programme. Indeed, it places a particular emphasis on the information confirmed by the IAEA regarding the possible military dimension of the programme.