The International Atomic Energy Agency, an arm of the United Nations, reported Monday that Iran has refused to cooperate fully with inspectors trying to determine the purpose of the country's nuclear energy program.
Citing the agency's findings, the New York Times reports that Iran has refused access to two of the agency's most experienced inspectors, and has also refused to answer questions “about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed nuclear-related activities involving military-related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.”
The report comes after the United Nations declared in June another round of sanctions against Iran, the fourth such round declared by the U.N. against the country. Those new sanctions have been supported and touted as successful by the Obama administration.
But Iran's response seems to suggest otherwise. Says the Times, Iran's actions are "part of a longstanding pattern of reducing access in retaliation for United Nations action," and it "has argued that it has the right to throw out inspectors it does not trust, and said in case after case that the agency ... had 'no legal basis' to make its requests." In June, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the new sanctions as a "used handkerchief which should be thrown in the dustbin."
That highlights a recurring critique of the United Nations: its decrees do not contain the necessary teeth to ensure compliance. Iran, then, continues to do what it wants, which may be forcing the administration to admit the obvious:
The Obama administration said the report demonstrated that Iran “continues its effort to expand its nuclear program and move closer to a nuclear weapons capability,” an acknowledgment that, at least so far, the sanctions have not forced Iran to change its direction.
But forcing Iran to change direction is of the utmost importance to countries worldwide. According to an in-depth article printed in the most recent version of The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg explains that Israel is getting ready to attack Iran because nothing or no one has been able to confirm that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful, and Iran scoffs at attempts by others to do so. Goldberg's sources and investigation lead him to believe that a preemptive move by Israel aimed at preventing a nuclear attack by Iran is the only way to ensure security in the region.
And As Iran continues defiance, some words Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once told Goldberg could be a prophetic clue:
“You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs,” he said. “When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the reins of power and the weapons of mass death, then the world should start worrying, and that’s what is happening in Iran.”