Iran could face further isolation, pressure and harsh diplomatic action in the coming months if it fails to address international concerns about its nuclear program, which the international community suspects may have military purposes said Joseph Macmanus, US Ambassador to the United Nations Office in Vienna and to the International Atomic Energy Agency while speaking with media representatives during a press conference held on the sidelines of the IAEA Board of Governors Meeting which began on March 4 2013 at the Agency’s headquarters in Vienna.
According to Ambassador McManus, Iran can refuse a special inspection but that would set it up for referral to the UN Security Council. Like others before it, a resolution critical of Iran also would go automatically to the council, adding diplomatic pressure on Tehran.
According to my sources inside the IAEA meeting room, Ambassador Macmanus left the official meeting and held a press conference after the Ambassador of Iran, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, accused Israel of perpetrating genocide and demanded that Israel retract its accusations against Iran, according to which Iran said that Israel “should be wiped off the face of the earth”. Another source stated that Israel’s allies, among them Canada and Australia, also left the room when Soltanieh made his statement during a debate on Syria.
Ambassador Macmanus did not tell journalists about Soltanieh’s comment on Israel. He accused the Islamic Republic of a “commitment to deception, defiance, and delay” in addressing IAEA concerns about possible nuclear weapons-related research. Journalists were not allowed to be inside the room meeting and could only attend the sidelines and the press conferences held outside the IAEA Board of Governors meeting room.
The European Union also used the meeting to call on Iran to stop obstructing an IAEA investigation and give the agency access to sites and documents, regardless of broader talks between Iran and world powers that resumed last week.
A week ago Tehran showed its interest in proposals made by the United States and five other world powers. US Ambassador Macmanus also said that “the Islamic state must give the IAEA access to sites and documents, regardless of broader talks between Iran and world powers that resumed last week.”