IAEA Nuclear Inspection Begins in Iran
Yesterday began the three day inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team throughout Iran. This inspection comes during a spike in tension, as the West imposes sanctions seeking to slow or halt Iran’s nuclear program. ”We are very optimistic about the mission and the outcome,” quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, to the Mehr news agency. Salehi continued, ”we’ve always tried to put transparency as a principle in our co-operation with IAEA … During this visit, the delegation has questions and the necessary answers will be given.”
Meanwhile, India indicated it will not cut back on oil imports from Iran. Indian Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, stated, “It is not possible for India to take any decision to reduce the import from Iran drastically because, after all, the countries which can provide the requirement of the emerging economy, Iran is an important country amongst them.” Iranian Oil Minister, Rostam Qasemi, said to the state news agency Islamic Republic News Agency, ”soon we will cut exporting oil to some countries,” while not identifying which countries.
In other news, U.S. Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, referenced the time frame of an Iranian nuclear device, if desired, as “about a year to be able to produce a bomb and then possibly another one to two years in order to put it on a deliverable vehicle of some sort in order to deliver that weapon.” Panetta said “there are no options that are off the table” if intelligence becomes available that Iran is creating a nuclear weapon. Iranian Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said, the U.S. and allies would not launch an attack against Iran because ”they are fearful of the Iranian forces and nation.”