Roundup: Suspicion, confrontation won't solve Iranian nuclear dispute
Friday, September 17, 2021 3:16 AM

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VIENNA, Sep. 17, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- The eight-year international dispute over Iran's atomic activities has reared its ugly head again this week.

Iran's refusal this summer to allow two veteran International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors into the country is the direct cause, but what lies beneath the seemingly unsolvable nuclear deadlock is a deep mistrust, suspicion, and even confrontation between Tehran and the United States and its Western allies.

In September 2002, the United States claimed that Iran had built suspect nuclear facilities and asked the IAEA to strengthen its verification. Iran, in response, insisted on its right to the peaceful use and comprehensive grasp of nuclear technology.

However, to demonstrate its sincerity, Iran still invited the then director-general Mohamed El-Baradei of the IAEA to visit the country to inspect its suspect nuclear site and signed an additional Protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in December 2003. But the inspection at that time didn't yield any "unexpected" results.

Dissatisfied with the IAEA's inspection results, the United States insisted on bringing Iran's nuclear issue before the United Nations Security Council, with an aim to force Iran into submission through sanctions or even military actions.

After the mediation of Britain, Germany and France, Iran suspended its nuclear activities and cooperated with the agency to carry out various verifications.

About one year later, Iran realized its cooperative gesture hadn't won understanding and support from the Western countries. As a result, Tehran has started to change its strategy since 2005 and announced that it would restore full nuclear activities including uranium enrichment.

Since then, the dispute between Iran and the Western countries has become increasingly tense. The Iranian nuclear issue has now reached an impasse.

Dispute settlement requires mutual sincerity and trust, and the Iranian nuclear issue is no exception.

The core of the issue, which has become even more complex after so many years, is that Iran, as a contracting state of the NPT, should be respected for its right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, but at the same time, it should also fulfil its relevant international obligations.

The parties concerned could reach mutual understanding if trust can be built through talks and negotiations. Tension and confrontation will only deepen mutual suspicion instead of contributing to solving the conflict.

 

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