A five-member team of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) left for Iran on Monday for two-day talks in Tehran over controversial nuclear program of the country. It is a positive development amid escalating tensions between Iran and Israel. The UN nuclear watchdog would look into military aspects of the nuclear program that whether Iran is developing nuclear weapons or not. The outcome of these talks would determine future course of action for the international community, and they are closely observing the development.
The international community, including the US and Israel, suspects Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the pretext of peaceful nuclear program. On the other hand, Iran says its nuclear program is for civilian purposes as it is to be used for production of energy and medical research. Iranian officials have denied a number of times that they intend to develop nuclear weapons. They have said they have enough conventional weapons to fight with their enemies and do not need nuclear weapons.
Even Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei has said a number of times to satisfy the international community that nuclear bomb is un-Islamic. He stated that Iranian nuclear program was not meant to develop nuclear weapons. Iran wants peace and stability in the region, Khamenei said, adding the country was well wishers of all and did not want to wage war with any other country. Statements aside, the work being carried out on the nuclear sites, however, suggests something contrary.
The international community has not pinned high hopes with the IAEA team in Iran keeping in mind the outcomes of the past negotiations with the country. The last talks collapsed in Istanbul in January and tensions have escalated between Israel and Iran since. However, Iran has responded positively to a European Union offer of resumption of talks on the controversial nuclear program.
Now that Iran has showed its willingness to resume talks with P5+1 – five permanent members of Security Council and one non-permanent member -, the European Union should immediately announce the venue and date for the much-desired talks as dialogue is the only way forward. Permanent members are Russia, China, United States, United Kingdom and France while the non-permanent member is Germany. Iran should also exercise a little restraint and should not issue provocative statements against Israel and the US.