Say Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett. A sample:
But the report—arguably the most anticipated document of its kind since the NPT was first advanced in 1968—does not in any way demonstrate that Iran is “developing a nuclear weapon”. Rather, it once again affirms, as the IAEA has for decades, Iran’s “non-diversion” of nuclear material. In other words, even if the Islamic Republic wanted to build nuclear weapons (and Tehran continues to deny, at the highest levels of authority, that it wishes to do so) it does not have the weapons-grade material essential to the task.
Nevertheless, Amano chose to focus the report on unsubstantiated intelligence reports, provided almost entirely by the United States, Israel, and other Western governments, alleging that the Islamic Republic is working on a nuclear weapons program. Most of this information has been available to the IAEA for years. But Baradei refused to publicize it during his tenure as the Agency’s chief—because he could neither corroborate it nor be confident about its provenance and quality. Remember, Baradei had been right about the state of Iraq’s nuclear program in 2002, when all of the intelligence services and national governments that would later try getting him spun up about Iran had been spectacularly wrong. And he was not going to let the United States or anyone else steamroller him on Iran.
Amano, unfortunately, does not bring the same kind of intellectual and political integrity to his job as his predecessor. The United States, Israel, and other Western governments had to work hard to get the IAEA’s Board of Governors to elect Amano in 2009, by the narrowest possible margin, barely overcoming a challenge from South Africa’s distinguished ambassador to the Agency, Abdul Minty. But Washington and its allies got what they wanted. An October 2009 cable from the U.S. mission to the IAEA, published last year by Wikileaks, see here, reported that Amano had “reminded [the U.S. Ambassador to the IAEA] on several occasions that he would need to make concessions” at times to developing countries, “but that he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision”, including “the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.”
Read the whole thing. (Thanks to Scott Horton.)