IAEA decision on Iran will be a lose-lose outcome

Press release - February 3, 2006
The International Atomic Energy Agency's inevitable decision to report Iran to the Security Council will seriously increase the risk of further escalating conflict in the region, Greenpeace said today.

"Reporting Iran to the UN Security Council will be  a lose-lose outcome for the international community" said Greenpeace nuclear analyst William Peden. "Board members supporting the EU-3 draft resolution will be effectively shooting themselves in the foot.

"There will be no winners in this dispute. As Iran made quite clear today they will have no choice but to severely restrict inspections and no longer comply with requests to reveal information above and beyond what is legally required under existing treaty obligations.  All diplomatic initiatives will also be dead in the water escalating further tensions on all sides. It is clear that heightened and mismanaged distrust on both sides will solve nothing.

"A decision to report Iran is premature - there were hopes that negotiations and other diplomatic efforts could still succeed and where there remains hope one should not close the door. Regrettably,  the majority of the IAEA Board's intentions do just that," said Peden.

Greenpeace is opposed to any nation acquiring nuclear technology and nuclear weapons, including Iran. It believes that the current crisis is borne out of the clear contradiction in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that obliges signatories to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons whilst at the same time encouraging their access to nuclear technology that can be diverted to produce those weapons.

"The real solution to this crisis is a Nuclear Free Zone in the Middle East," said Peden. "It is a vital first step towards removing all nuclear proliferation risks in the region, as well as providing the essential security guarantees from nuclear weapons states outside the region. If we don't seriously contemplate this option then the world will, as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan pointed out yesterday, lurch from nuclear crisis to nuclear crisis," Peden concluded.

Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

Other contacts: Michael Kessler, Greenpeace International Media Officer +34 660 637 053 (in Vienna)William Peden, Greenpeace International Nuclear Analyst +31 653 504 731 (in Vienna)