Supposedly nobody knows why one of the diplomatic missions chose not to sit in its assigned place during the opening session of 56th Annual Session of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference on Sept. 17 2012 and instead used the place of the Israeli delegation.
The diplomatic mission that appeared with the name of Israel and drew the attention of photographers and journalists who thought that it was the mission of Israel could have been either the Japanese or Chinese or Korean mission. Journalists were not able to identity them during the opening ceremony.
What came out is that the delegation of Israel deliberately boycotted the opening of the 56th IAEA general conference. This boycott was due to the presence of Iranian professor Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, the Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and head of Iran’s Nuclear Energy Agency, who gave a speech during that first conference day.
On 29 November 2010, professor Abbasi-Davani survived an assassination attempt. A separate bomb attack on the same date killed another Iranian scientist, Dr. Majid Shahriari – the attacks were widely attributed to Israel, and in fact israeli government representatives boasted of the murders. Israel has traditionally listened to its own voice only, never listening to others even if the speakers were right in what they said.
Whatever the reasons behind the boycott of the opening session by the israeli delegation, the captured image of another delegation sitting in same place assigned Israel, provoked anger among israels at the official level. Israel protested that another delegation appeared with the name of Israel. It is not clear what further steps the Israelis have taken against the delegation seen in the image above.
The protocols of the IAEA and the UN require that the attending diplomats sit their place, where the name of their country appears, and the seats of absent delegations are supposed to stay empty. This was the first time that I witnessed a diplomatic delegation occupying the seat of another delegation. It is not known if the mission that occupied the Israeli seats did so premeditatedly.