Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Just the one crucial fact left out

The BBC has reported that:
Iran has been asked by the UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, for a substantive response to allegations that it is developing a nuclear weapon.
In typical BBC style, the story trades in claim and counterclaim, appearing to be balanced:
Iran says its nuclear programme is purely for peaceful purposes.

Allegations about its nuclear programme are unsubstantiated, says the country's IAEA envoy, Ali Asghar Soltanieh.

Mr Soltanieh said that Iran had not been allowed to see any of the documents which allegedly back up US accusations of a military nuclear programme.
But apparently IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei isn't having any of it:

Speaking to the IAEA's board, Mr El Baradei said Iran should provide "substantive information to support its statements and access to relevant documentations and individuals".

Iran "should clarify the extent to which the documentation is factually correct and where, as it asserts, such information has been fabricated or where it relates to non-nuclear purposes", he added.

Except that, if you read El Baradei's statement to the IAEA board, he also said this:
"I call upon Member States which provided the Agency with documentation related to the alleged studies to authorize the Agency to share it with Iran."
The IAEA is asking Iran to comment on documents that it can't show it because the states that provided them won't let it. It isn't clear why the very balanced BBC didn't mention this.

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