Tehran was forced to eat crow and backtrack on its ploy for winning international recognition for its nuclear program by showing Non-Aligned Summit leaders and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon around its nuclear sites. The tour was planned for Wednesday, Aug. 29. It would have been a mockery of US-promoted nuclear diplomacy, International Atomic Energy Agency’s criticism and Israeli threats by circumventing them all to claim recognition of its nuclear program by the 120-member NAM and the UN Secretary in person.
However, DEBKAfile reports that Washington intervened Tuesday and “advised” NAM participants as well as Ban to turn Tehran down on its nuclear tour, which was to have included the suspected nuclear-related explosives testing lab at Parchin. “It is the IAEA that should have been given access to Parchin,” said a Western diplomat in Vienna.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast Tuesday, Aug. 28, consequently contradicted the Dep. Foreign Minister’s offer to show Non-Aligned Organization’s leaders meeting in Tehran around its nuclear installations and the Fars official news agency’s announcement Aug. 25 of the tour.
DEBKAfile’s Iranian and intelligence sources report exclusively that Tuesday, Iran’s leaders were still arguing over which NAM leaders to invite for the nuclear tour and whether to focus on a single nuclear site or split the visitors up into small groups to tour several installations.
Revolutionary Guards commander Gen. Ali Jafary and the head of the Nuclear Energy Commission Dr. Fereydoun Abbasi Davani argue the case of showcasing (the presumably sanitized) Parchin to the entire group and the UN Secretary to impress upon them the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.