Unclear how serious “this is”:http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/12/24/iran.parliament/index.html but it might not be good:
bq. Iran’s parliament passed an urgent measure Sunday that stipulates its members must decide within the next 48 hours whether to continue its membership in the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Iran did this after the UNSC adopted “Resolution 1737.”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1311/resolution-1737-text Here’s part of a “relevant story”:http://www.irna.com/en/news/view/line-24/0612242656161014.htm from IRNA:
A number of Iranian MPs introduced a double-urgency motion to Majlis on Sunday calling for suspension of the UN nuclear watchdog’s inspection of Iranian nuclear sites following the approval of an anti-Iran resolution by the United Nations Security Council.
A member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Heshmatollah Falahat-Pisheh told IRNA on the sidelines of a Majlis open session Sunday that the motion did not indicate Iran’s withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty. “There is no need so far, to quit the NPT,” Falahat-Pisheh said.
Reacting to the approval of the UNSC resolution for imposing sanctions against Iran, the MP said that adoption of the resolution “was a politically-motivated act and part of a psychological warfare against Iran.
“Iran’s nuclear program has been under sanctions since 1990,” Falahat-Pisheh said adding, “This resolution has only legitimized previous sanctions for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).”
bq. “Iran has exercised full cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and that the UN agency has carried out over 2,000 person/hour inspection on Iranian nuclear sites. So, under the current circumstances which the Security Council passed resolution against Iran, it is not logical to continue cooperation with the agency,” head of Parliamentary Commission for National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi said ahead of voting for a bill to review Iranian interaction with the UN nuclear agency.
Also, the “Majlis speaker spoke about the matter yesterday:”:http://www.irna.com/en/news/view/line-24/0612236416174745.htm
Majlis Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel said here Saturday that if pressures on Iran continues and the UNSC passes any resolution or adopt any other policy except continued negotiations, Majlis would revise its relations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The Majlis Foreign Policy and National Security Commission has ratified a bill authorizing Tehran to revise its relations with IAEA in case of any pressure, he said, adding that if they put pressure on Iran, the bill will be debated in Majlis.
I’m not sure that “revising cooperation” with the IAEA is the same as withdrawing from it, but it’s still a really bad idea. The Iranians should remember what happened when the inspectors left Iraq and the resulting information vacuum filled with horseshit. That was one issue I briefly discussed in “this piece”:http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2006_10/IAEAIranIntel.asp a couple months back:
White cautioned that the information vacuum could cause analysts to underestimate capabilities, noting that this had happened in the case of Iraq prior to the 1991 Persian Gulf War. By the same token, however, he agreed that the IAEA’s restricted ability to investigate Tehran’s nuclear program could also allow unsubstantiated reports of clandestine Iranian nuclear activities to go unchallenged and influence perceptions that the country is pursuing nuclear weapons.
The departure of UN weapons inspectors from Iraq in 1998 deprived the international community of a critical tool for verifying what later proved to be inaccurate human and technical intelligence reports that Iraq was pursuing a nuclear weapons program. A European diplomat interviewed Sept. 25 argued, however, that the international community had learned a lesson from the Iraq intelligence debacle, describing the ongoing process of evaluating intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program as “rigorous and conservative.”
As was the case prior to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, policymakers have responded differently to the ambiguity surrounding the potential Iranian nuclear threat, with some arguing for caution and others suggesting more vigorous action.
[Insert witty punch line.]