Israel gives UN watchdog secret briefing on Iran
Unusual Foreign Ministry visit to IAEA headquarters in Vienna is first senior Israeli briefing in years.
Foreign Ministry Director General Aaron Abramovich secretly visited the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna Wednesday and briefed a group of ambassadors from countries involved in the agency's efforts to stop Iran's nuclear project. Abramovich emphasized that the IAEA must act more quickly and efficiently to block Iranian nuclear ambitions.
The unusual visit was the first senior Israeli briefing of IAEA member ambassadors in several years. The IAEA is considered relatively hostile to Israel, a tool in Arab world attacks on Israel for rebuffing efforts to monitor the Dimona nuclear reactor.
Abramovich presented Israel's concerns about a continued nuclear program in Tehran. He noted that Iran continues to enrich uranium undisturbed and that Israel believes it is developing a secret military nuclear program.
"The Iranians are buying time and are not cooperating with UN Security Council demands and the recommendations of the international community," Abramovich told the ambassadors. "This must be addressed, and the IAEA is one of the entities that can do that."
About six months ago Abramovich criticized IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei for what he called a lack of determination against Tehran. "Instead of contributing to the international efforts against Iran IAEA is undermining them, with positions that provide excuses for countries not to join thses efforts," Abramovich said at the time.
The destruction of the Syrian nuclear facility last fall, attributed by foreign news outlets to Israel, did not come up during Abramovich's Vienna visit. A senior official noted yesterday that the foreign ministry has been contacted frequently in recent weeks by European officials and Security Council members regarding reports that an Israel Air Force drill was an exercise in bombing a nuclear site in Iran.
About a week ago, the New York Times reported that over 100 IAF fighter planes and cargo craft as well as special forces drilled a simulated attack on an Iranian nuclear facility at a site near Greece, 1,500 kilometers from Israel. An Israeli source told The Times of London, "This was a general rehearsal for an Iran attack."
The senior foreign ministry source stated, "The defense establishment and Foreign Ministry are pleased by the many questions received."