Media overview for October 5, 2008

Media overview for October 5, 2008

1.      In Vienna, the IAEA General Conference adopted a Resolution on Application of IAEA safeguards in the Middle East. The document calls upon all States in the region not to develop or proliferate nuclear weapons. The resolution was adopted with 82 votes in favour and 13 abstentions, including Syria and Israel, which may have a nuclear arsenal. The General Conference also adopted a Resolution on Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement between the Agency and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. By this Resolution, the Agency's member states call upon North Korea to honour its commitment to nuclear disarmament as agreed on at the Six-Party Talks. The Resolution stresses the necessity of a diplomatic resolution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

2.      According to Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, Tehran is losing confidence in the Iran Six talks after a new Resolution by the UN Security Council. "Despite the fact that the Agency was going beyond its responsibilities in its dealings with Iran, we, as a party to the NPT, will continue to enrich uranium and cooperate with the IAEA under existing international norms," Mottaki noted.

Mottaki also claimed that in the future Tehran will be capable of supplying fissile fuel to other states. He emphasised that Iran will continue to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes even if Western states commit themselves to supplying fissile fuel for Iranian nuclear power plants. "We have had bad experiences cooperating with the West in the area of civilian nuclear power. The U.S. promised to provide Iran with 1,000 megawatts. The Germans also broke their promise when they failed to complete construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant," the Iranian Minister reiterated.

3.      According to French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Bernard Kouchner, Israel is preparing for an attack on Iranbefore the Iranians acquire nuclear weapons. Kouchner, who is currently visiting Israel, agreed with expert estimates that it would take Iran two to four years to create a nuclear bomb. "I think that you are well informed, and so are the Americans and so are we. People have always said it would take between two and four years. But to make what? One bomb?" Kouchner said. "I honestly don't believe that it will give Iran any immunity. First, because you will eat them before they can do anything. That is the danger. Because Israel has always said that it will not wait for the bomb to be ready. I think that they [the Iranians] know that. Everybody knows it," he added.

Kouchner showed that he is well aware that the Israeli military is developing a military solution to the Iranian issue and called on Israel to allow more time for diplomacy. "I know that some people in Israel and in the army are preparing a military solution, or not a solution but a military attack," France's minister said. However, he stressed that he does not consider it a good solution. "An Iran with an atomic bomb is completely unacceptable, but how can it be prevented? Talking, talking, talking, and offering dialogue, sanctions, sanctions, sanctions."