Pressure on Iran over Nuclear Program a Failure: Ex-IAEA chief

Former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Hans Blix says the West’s pressures against Iran have been a “failure from the very outset” in forcing the Islamic Republic to stop its nuclear energy program.

“The threat of punishments is less effective, especially if you have a very proud party on the other side, like Iran… That has been a failure from the very outset,” Blix said in an interview on the sidelines of a conference on nuclear proliferation in Geneva, Businessweek reported on Thursday.

“There has been too much of a reliance on the whip rather than the carrot in the case of Iran,” he pointed out.

“It’s a US attitude but very often, incentives are better than disincentives,” the former IAEA chief pointed out.

Blix went on to enumerate some of the motions tabled by the EU to coax Iran into abandoning uranium enrichment, and called the incentives “intelligent, but not enough.”

He went on to say that, the US has nevertheless used a heavier hand with regard to Iran’s peaceful nuclear dossier.

Blix made the remarks in the lead-up to the IAEA Board of Governors’ non-binding resolution on Iran’s nuclear energy program, which was passed without consensus on Friday.

The resolution expressed “serious concern” over Iran's nuclear energy program and stated that diplomacy is the only way to resolve the West’s dispute with Iran over the program.

Cuba voted against the resolution, and Egypt, Ecuador, and Tunisia abstained.

Blix also criticized the politicization of Iran’s nuclear energy program, saying that the country’s nuclear file remains open due to unfounded allegations made by a few Western countries.

The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran's civilian nuclear energy program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.

Source: Press TV (site, Iran)