VIENNA, November 19 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia considers as "untimely and inappropriate" the publication in a report by the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of materials about "alleged research" under the Iranian nuclear program that might have a military aspect, Russia’s representative, ambassador Grigory Berdennikov, said at the just- ended session of the IAEA Board of Governors.
"It is disappointing that in the context of the absence of convincing evidence there have begun assumptions and suspicions and juggling with information in order to produce an impression of some military component is present in Iran's nuclear program. Such an approach can hardly be called professional and impartial,” he said.
In addition, Russia's representative drew attention to another very serious fact: "The ‘alleged research’ addendum to the report of the director-general concerning the application of safeguards in Iran, in effect, has been transformed into a new source of rising tensions over Iran's nuclear program. Even before the official circulation among the members of the IAEA Board of Governors it was leaked to the media and posted on the Internet. I would like to draw attention to the fact that the report was meant for ‘restricted distribution’, and hence, the decision on its publication could be taken only by the Board of Governors. As far as we know, the Board has made no such decisions."
"As a result,” continued Berdennikov, “a freely available material on such a sensitive topic has served as a theme for speculation, rumors and political gossip. The Board of Governors has faced a well-orchestrated media campaign, aimed at the further aggravation of the situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear program. We very much regret the IAEA has been drawn into the campaign. It is impossible not to see that this campaign over the director-general’s report plays into the hands of those forces that would like to obstruct a diplomatic solution of the Iranian issue to the maximum extent, and that the likelihood increases other means may be resorted to, which we have been consistently opposed to."
The Russian diplomat voiced doubts that "the secretariat of the agency is able to ensure adequate confidentiality in its work, without which the effectiveness of coping with the tasks facing the IAEA is in doubt." He asked the IAEA director-general to conduct an official investigation into the unpleasant incident related to the publication of the report on Iran in the media, and to present the findings and measures taken to prevent similar cases in the future to the next session of the Board of Governors in March next year.