IAEA Chief Mohammad ElBaradei last week hailed Iran’s cooperation with the agency and reported that only 2,000 centrifuges were operational at Natanz. ElBaradei said his hunch was that slow down in the enrichment program was an Iranian deliberate plan to gain politically in the international arena. ElBaradei seemed to be real happy with what the Iranian leaders had told him this time.
Today, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini also hailed ElBaradei’s report as a victory for Iran’s nuclear program.
Hours later, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a press conference that Iran has put into operation over 3,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges at Natanz! (IRNA, 2 September). He also said that Iran is adding one new centrifuge cascade (164 centrifuges) every week to the 3,000 centrifuges already in operation.
ElBaradei must not have believed his ears listening to Ahmadinejad’s proclamation only days after he hailed the Iranian leaders for their moderation and cooperation over the nuclear issue. Welcome to politics, Islamic Republic style, Mr. ElBaradei!