NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Former IAEA Inspector Calls for Transparency on All Sides


    Robert Kelley: The IAEA should allow peer review of its data, Iran should resolve outstanding questions -   January 20, 2012
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


    Audio

      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook




    The in-depth interviews with knowledgeable people are a gold mine to those of us with questing minds who are determined to pursue the facts, wherever they may lead. - Jennifer Humiston
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Transcript

    Former IAEA Inspector Calls for Transparency on All SidesPAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Washington.

    Robert Kelley, a nuclear engineer and former director/inspector with the IAEA, recently wrote a piece in Bloomberg about the whole question of Iran, nuclear weapons, and such. Here's a little bit of what he said:

    "I'm speaking up about this now because, as a member of the IAEA's Iraq Action Team in 2003, I learned firsthand how withholding the facts can lead to bloodshed. Having known the details then, though I was not allowed to speak, I feel a certain shared responsibility for the war that killed more than 4,000 Americans and more than 100,000 Iraqis. A private citizen today, I hope to help ensure the facts are clear before the U.S. takes further steps that could lead, intentionally or otherwise, to a new conflagration, this time in Iran."

    Now joining us from Vienna in Austria is Robert Kelley. Thanks very much for joining us, Bob.

    ROBERT KELLEY, FMR. DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY: Nice to be here again, Paul.

    JAY: So why did you feel the sense of urgency to write what—a sort of plea here for evidence, I guess one could say?

    KELLEY: Well, I think those of us who went through the Iraq experience, particularly in 2003, just saw a lot of bad information on the table. And I recognize a little bit of that again this time. And I'd just like to point out that we shouldn't believe everything we see at first blush. In 2003 it wasn't my place to speak. We had a director general who spoke for us. He did a good job. I think he spoke way too softly, way too timidly, and so the information didn't get out. We've done a huge amount of research in Iraq, we understood what was actually happening there, we were proven right, and no one listened to us.

    JAY: You're trying to come at this as a scientist. You're looking at is there evidence if they're not, and you're not giving opinions on whether there should be bombing or sanctions or not. As you're just going—you're focusing on a very narrow issue: is there evidence or not? Let's just get clear on that.

    KELLEY: Right. Well, I think there's plenty of evidence that Iran intended to build nuclear weapons, or they wouldn't have built these huge material production plants at Natanz and the reactor that they're getting ready to turn on at Arak. We can see that there was a program from many of these, I think, pretty well-sourced American documents that are called the "alleged studies" that Iran had a program for a long time. The CIA says that program stopped in 2003. I don't know how they know that, but they say that with quite a bit of certainty. And IAEA brings very little new to the table.

    When you do look at what's new in the IAEA report, it comes down to about three paragraphs. And of the three paragraphs, one of them concerns information that's clearly tainted. There is a document that appeared in The Times of London, and the IAEA is repeating exactly the information that's in that document, and there are a lot of questions about that document.

    JAY: Yeah, that document's pivotal, because it's supposed to be one of the main things, if not the main evidence, we're told, that a program started up or continued after 2003 or started up again after 2003. So this is a document that essentially we now know the Israelis handed over in 2009. If I have it correctly, ElBaradei, then head of the IAEA, did not believe that document was legitimate. I didn't—I don't know if he comes right out and says it was forged, but it comes pretty close. So just dig in and tell us the story of that document and what we know or don't know about it.

    KELLEY: Well, the document as published in The Times has linguistic problems in it that remind us of the forgeries of 1995, when we saw very similar forgeries that were designed to stop the Iraq inspections and make us believe that the Iraqis had resumed their weapons program. I just got very much the same sense from this document, as it's the same problem. And so I was really trying to point out to people that the single piece of evidence that we can judge in the IAEA's report, that we can look at ourselves, is tainted. It looks just like the information that's in The Times of London, which is very questionable. That's my point.

    JAY: And that document, if I understand correctly, does not have a date. It doesn't have a source. It's a very—it's difficult to believe. But the IAEA team under ElBaradei that did look at it discounted it, decided it was not evidence. Is that correct?

    KELLEY: Well, we know that the information that they received at that time from ElBaradei's memoir, they put it aside because they couldn't verify where it came from. Remember, ElBaradei was a lawyer, and he wanted evidence to be traceable. He wanted to know evidence was real. So he put it aside, based upon his memoirs. Fourteen days after he retires, this document shows up in London. We do have to remember that we've been told that the document was retyped to hide some of the information that was in it. So that could explain in part why there are no markings, why there's no date, why there are no distribution lists, for example. But, apparently, the document that ElBaradei rejected had the same kind of problems—he could establish the authenticity.

    JAY: Okay. So we have a dubious document and not much else to tell us that there is still a weapons program going on. And your key point here is not that you're stating there isn't a program. In fact, in some of your writings, you say you think there likely might be or is. But there's just no evidence of it. Am I—this is correct?

    KELLEY: Yes. Okay, let's make two things clear. One is I think the intent has been there for a long time. They spent millions of dollars to build these facilities to make material, and that's the hard part. The knowledge that they gained up to 2003 is very valuable knowledge if they do decide to build a bomb. So even if they stopped in 2003/2004, they had acquired a lot of knowledge then, and it would be hard to believe that someone hasn't been guarding that knowledge in the period between.

    But the question is: is this a smoking gun that says there is an active program today? A lot of people are referring to the IAEA report as proof that there is. And it isn't. This particular information that I've mentioned is one of only two places in the document that I think we can kind of check the IAEA. And so here is a place where they put information in the document that we recognize from other sources, and it doesn't look good. The only other thing that we can check them on would be the satellite imagery they say they have of this explosion cylinder being placed at Parchin.

    JAY: The reason, obviously, all this matters is thousands of lives could be at stake if there is a military action taken against Iran based on this. You know, you used the word conflagration. That's perhaps even an understatement of what might come.

    KELLEY: I would think that if there is military action with Iran, the consequences are very unpredictable. It could be a very serious situation. I'm watching the United States extricate itself from two wars right now and hate to think we're going to go right back into another one.

    JAY: So you say in your piece in the Bloomberg that this needs to be resolved, and you've got some specific suggestions on how to clear this picture up. What are they? What do you think the IAEA should be doing to try to come to terms with this?

    KELLEY: Well, I think the situation in the IAEA and the Iranians kind of looks like a schoolyard fight. And it would be nice if both sides would stop and step back, try to establish a little more good will, some transparency.

    I have several suggestions what they could do. I think they should take the documents to Tehran when they go at the end of the month, sit down with Iranians, and say, let's work this through and see if we can figure out if we do agree on whether they are or are not forgeries. The deputy director general was quoted in a WikiLeaks cable as saying he wants to take the documents to the Iranians. And that was two years ago. I don't know if that's happened yet. So I would suggest the IAEA could show a little bit of openness by taking them the documents. According to the ElBaradei memoir, the Israelis said they didn't mind; go ahead and show them the documents; we have no problem.

    Iran needs to show some cooperation. I think they should take the IAEA to the site where the agency says they have satellite imagery of this cylinder being placed, the cylinder they think was being used for explosive experiments with uranium. The reason for the cylinder is to contain uranium contamination is what they claim. And if it has ever happened and that cylinder has ever been opened, that building will be contaminated, and I'm sure the IAEA can detect the contamination, even if the cylinder's been removed. And you have to remember that IAEA took Syria to the Security Council on the basis of a handful of microscopic particles that they detected a year after the bombing of the Syrian facility on Euphrates. So I think that would be a case where Iran could say, if we never did it, we're going to take you to this facility, show you what's in there, tell you about the nanodiamond experiments we did and what was going on.

    JAY: Yeah. Let's just—to remind people that haven't seen our previous interviews or followed this, this cylinder the Iranians say is being used for experiments on nanodiamonds, the IAEA suggested in this recent report that it could have been used for testing weaponization, I guess. And in one of our interviews with you earlier, you were pretty dubious that this thing could have been to do with weapons, were you not?

    KELLEY: Yeah, I saw a number of things about the way it was reported. For example, the amount of explosive it contained didn't seem to be enough. But we don't know how the IAEA came up with the numbers they did. The IAEA doesn't have to explain anything they tell you. They just tell you things. But I think if uranium was ever used in that building with explosives with this chamber, the Iranians would be taking a huge chance by letting the IAEA in there. If they do it and they can explain what they actually were doing in that building, that would be good again for both sides.

    JAY: Well, that one seems pretty straightforward. On some of the other things the IAEA says it wants to look at, the Iranians have said, we won't let you look at it, because what you're really going to find out is more about our conventional missile program and conventional weapons, and we have a right to protect those secrets. How legitimate is that position of Iran?

    KELLEY: Well, I'll say it's legitimate if you put the shoe on the other foot and say, if someone wanted to come to the United States and visit military facilities on the basis of, say, an arms control treaty that had nothing to do with those facilities, the U.S. would be very resistant. And I think they're being resistant partially because they did allow a number of inspections at Parchin, and the agency came away with nothing. So, you know, I think the Iranians believe this might be a fishing expedition.

    JAY: Bob, so, Iran, there are things—steps Iran could take to try to resolve this. And are there other steps IAEA could take to help resolve this?

    KELLEY: I would think that the IAEA should be more transparent with the information that they have. This report they published has a lot of "trust me" in it, a great deal of "trust me", and some of the things they say are very interesting and almost questionable. For example, they say they have a satellite image of this cylinder being placed. Why don't they show us that satellite image? They shouldn't be afraid of peer review. There are scientists around the world who are interested in these problems. And it would really help all of us if they would put some of this information a little more clearly on the table. For example, the dimensions of the cylinder we were just talking about would allow other people to calculate whether that cylinder will do what they say it will do. So I think IAEA should put a little more information on the table. But they seem to be kind of above review.

    JAY: Well, in a earlier interview, you were saying the way they're presenting the information seems designed to strengthen a more hawkish view.

    KELLEY: It's my sense that the way they present the information this report, where there are more than one explanation for information, they tend to take the hawkish, most nuclear, most threatening view. And so it would seem to me that putting more information on the table and allowing other people to evaluate it or comment on it would be useful. Otherwise, it's all trust me, trust what I'm telling you, trust my analysis, and trust that I know what I'm saying.

    JAY: Thanks very much for joining us, Bob.

    KELLEY: Nice to be with you.

    JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    The Modern History of Venezuela and Popular Democracy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (9/9)
    An Asia "Pivot" Should Mean Cooperating with China to Solve the Global Environmental Crisis
    Assessing the U.S. Environmental Movement
    Intimidation and Political Interference Goes Unpunished in UAW Case
    Exclusive Investigation Uncovers How BP Uses Bribes To Do Business
    The Modern History of Venezuela, The Protests and Democracy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (8/9)
    Greek Politics 4 Years After The Financial Crisis
    CBO Report Confirms U.S. Deficit Back to Normal Level
    Israel Uses Refugees as "Currency" in Arms Trade with Africa
    Who Will Pay for Climate Change Disaster?
    Canada Shifts to Right Under Harper, Mimicking the United States
    The Savings and Loan Crisis Demonstrates the Importance of Glass-Steagall
    South African Platinum Miner's Struggle Challenges ANC Leadership
    TRNN Original Report: Manning Determined to Fight Back After Army Upholds 35- Year Sentence
    Hundredth Anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre
    The Bundy Ranch Standoff Demonstrates Values Shared by Corporations and the Far Right
    The Resegregation of American Schools
    The Modern History of Venezuela, Why Still So Much Crime? - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (7/9)
    What Role Has Russia Played in Eastern Ukraine?
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (2/2)
    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting