Thursday, March 22, 2012

2012
At the same time, the IAEA's reports on Iranian behaviour have become steadily more critical. In November, it published an unprecedented volume of intelligence pointing towards past Iranian work on developing a nuclear weapon, deeming it credible.

However, some former IAEA officials are saying that the agency has gone too far. Robert Kelley, a former US weapons scientists who ran the IAEA action team on Iraq at the time of the US-led invasion, said there were worrying parallels between the west's mistakes over Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction then and the IAEA's assessment of Iran now.

"Amano is falling into the Cheney trap. What we learned back in 2002 and 2003, when we were in the runup to the war, was that peer review was very important, and that the analysis should not be left to a small group of people," Kelley said.

"So what have we learned since then? Absolutely nothing. Just like [former US vice-president] Dick Cheney, Amano is relying on a very small group of people and those opinions are not being checked."

Other former officials have also raised concern that the current IAEA is becoming an echo chamber, focused on suspicions over Iran's programme, without the vigorous debate that characterised the era of Amano's predecessor Mohamed ElBaradei.

They point to Amano's decision, in March last year, to dissolve the agency's office of external relations and policy co-ordination (Expo), which under ElBaradei had second-guessed some of the judgments made by the safeguards department inspectors.

Expo cautioned against the publication of IAEA reports that the Bush administration might use to justify military action. Some inspectors believed that amounted to censorship and western governments said it was not the agency's job to make political judgments.

ElBaradei's advisers from Expo were moved sideways in the organisation, and the department's functions have been absorbed by the director-general's office. "There has been a concentration of power, with less diversity of viewpoints," a former agency official said, adding that Amano has surrounded himself with advisors who have the same approach to Iran.
2010
Friday, 16 October 2009, 16:12
C O N F I D E N T I A L UNVIE VIENNA 000478
SIPDIS
FOR T, IO">IO">IO, ISN, EAP, AND INR/B
DOE FOR NA-20, NE-6
NSC FOR SAMORE, SCHEINMAN, HOLGATE, CONNERY
NRC FOR OIP
TOKYO FOR PEKO
EO 12958 DECL: 10/15/2019
TAGS AORC, PREL, KNNP, IAEA
SUBJECT: IAEA: AMANO READY FOR PRIME TIME[!!!]
REF: A. STATE 91301 B. UNVIE 472 C. UNVIE 476
Classified By: Ambassador Glyn Davies, reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

...Amano reminded Ambassador on several occasions that he would need to make concessions to the G-77, which correctly required him to be fair-minded and independent, but that he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program.

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