United Nations

IAEA head says Iran hampering agency’s work

IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano has said that Iran is preventing nuclear inspectors from carrying out their work in the country, and has appointed a new top investigator, Herman Nackaerts, to replace Olli Heinonen, who resigned from the IAEA earlier this year. (Reuters)

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Heinonen: Iran nuclear program is a threat

The Jerusalem Posquotes former UN chief of nuclear inspections Olli Heinonen as saying that Iran has enough low-enriched uranium to make two nuclear weapons, though “it would not be logical for it to cross the bomb-making threshold”:

Heinonen called Iran’s nuclear program a “threat” in a rare public interview, given shortly before he stepped down from his position as deputy director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Heinonen was head of the IAEA’s nuclear safeguards arm, which monitors countries’ nuclear programs to make sure they are intended for peaceful use. Heinonen left the post in August for personal reasons.

Shalev: Lebanese ships will be stopped

Israel’s UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev has said in a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council that the attempt by flotilla organizers to sail from Lebanon to Gaza could escalate tensions and affect peace and security in the region, the Lebanese portal Naharnet reports. The ambassador also said that Israel would exercise its right under international law to “use all necessary means” to prevent the ships from breaking the naval blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu: UN will become irrelevant

From the Jerusalem Post:

“If the [UN Human Rights] council decides to endorse the Goldstone report it will deal a fatal blow to three major issues: Firstly, it will harm the war on terror, because it will legitimize terrorists who hide behind civilians and fire from their midst.” Netanyahu stressed that in such cases, the one who ultimately takes the blame is “generally the victim, acting in legitimate self defense.”

“The second devastating blow will be to the UN’s status and its prestige. It will take it back to its darkest days when absurd decisions were passed within its assembly and empty it of all meaning,” Netanyahu added, referring to the 1970s, when the UN adopted a resolution comparing Zionism with racism. He warned that the UN will become irrelevant if it adopts the conclusions of the report.

The Prime Minister stated that the third and most pressing issue was the Goldstone Report’s potentially “devastating effect on the peace process,” and warned the world that “Israel will not be willing to take risks for peace if stripped of its right to self-defense.”