Representatives from Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) met in Vienna May 14-15 to discuss possible military aspects of Iran’s nuclear program, with another meeting set for next Monday. IAEA Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts told the media on Tuesday that the sides “had a good exchange of views.”
According to a transcript of his comments released by the IAEA, Nackaerts said the Agency and Iran “discussed a number of options to take the Agency’s verification process forward in a structured way. The primary focus of our discussions was how to clarify issues related to possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.”
Additional details of the discussion were not officially released by the IAEA, although previous comments have indicated that a key point of disagreement in the past was in regard to a military site suspected of testing that can be used for nuclear weapons. In mid-February, the IAEA openly criticized Iran over their unwillingness at the time to allow the Agency access to the Parchin military compound.
In addition to their talks with the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog, Iran is also set to discuss it’s nuclear program next Wednesday in Baghdad with the P5+1—the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany. The international nuclear talks resumed last month.
An Ominous Recollection
Meanwhile, the former-Prime Minister of Spain, José María Aznar, said on Wednesday that the leader of Iran told him in 2000 that he wants Israel to be destroyed.
Aznar—according to a press release sent to journalists by the Israeli Government Press Office from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA)—said in comments at the Center that he met with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in an unscheduled meeting almost twelve years ago.
Aznar, recollecting Khamenei’s comments, said the Iranian shared with him that eliminating Israel is “necessary to eliminate the risk, the threat that Israel poses, and this means obviously the elimination of Israel, and the elimination of the threat means that Israel must be eliminated.”
Aznar said of the Ayatollah—who as Iran’s leader also heads its military—“Israel to him was a kind of historical cancer, an anomaly. A country to be put in flames, and condemned to disappear…”
“In any case, at some point he said very clearly though softly as he spoke, that a war against the US and Israel was inevitable and that he was working for Iran to prevail in such a confrontation. Actually it was his duty as the ultimate vanguard of the Islamic global revolution.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, May 16, 2012)