The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Monday evening wrapped up its Board of Governors' meeting, adopting a moderately worded resolution on Iran's nuclear case.
Iran, though somewhat comforted by the resolution, accepted it reluctantly, eyeing something worrisome and uncertain in the resolution and the future development of the nuclear issue.
From the diplomatic and tactical perspective, the Islamic Republic, undoubtedly, achieved great victory at the IAEA meeting. As what Hassan Rowhani, the country's chief nuclear official, has pointed out that Iran, supported by the European Union (EU), frustrated US attempts to refer the Iranian case to the United Nations Security Council.
Apart from this widely welcomed result, Iran, after hard bargains, managed to fulfil its expectation that the adjectives of "voluntary" and "non-legally-binding" would be attached to the definition of its suspension of uranium enrichment in the final resolution.
With regard to the latest demand on 20 centrifuges, which Iran asked to be exempted from suspension, the UN nuclear watchdog decided to put them under surveillance system, instead of being sealed, according to Hossein Moussavian, top Iranian negotiator to the IAEA.
Moreover, disputes over the centrifuges issue have prolonged the session of the IAEA's meeting to Nov. 29, which was scheduled to end on Nov. 26. It had offered Iran and the EU more time to make compromise.
Moussavian termed the resolution as "the most positive ever." However, the jubilance at the front line failed to reach the headquarters in Tehran.
Government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh tuned down the applause. He adopted a moderate word "appropriate" to depict the resolution, saying it "had not met all Iranian demands" and contained "points that show lack of trust."
Ramezanzadeh's comments revealed that Tehran had been no less worried after the UN nuclear watchdog's adoption of the literally pro-Iran resolution.
The most remarkable misgiving of Tehran originated from the one-sided restriction of the resolution.
The resolution urged Iran and the EU to implement their agreement in Paris on Nov. 7, which was based on a compromise that the EU would provide Tehran with nuclear fuels and technology in return for Tehran's comprehensive suspension of nuclear activities.
However, Iran would have no substantial measures to bind the EU to implement the agreement, except for a revengeful breach of the agreement.
Iran's insistence on the definition of "voluntary" and "non-legally-binding" of its suspension was partly due to Tehran's fear about the EU's possible dodges in the implementation of its commitments, along with Iran's unwillingness to give up nuclear research.
What's more, the IAEA's resolution fails to change the US hostile attitudes toward Iran with regard to the nuclear issue.
US White House spokesman Scott McClellan has accused Iran of failing to comply with its commitments many times, while US President George W. Bush described Iran's suspension as a "positive step" but not a "final step."
Under such circumstances, Iran would possibly incur more opposition but less compassion if retreating from the even "voluntary" move.
Additionally, the text of the IAEA resolution says that Iran's "voluntary" move is "essential" to addressing outstanding issues.
Another blemish for Iran in the resolution is that it fails to indicate the prospect of ending Iran's case in the predicable future.
As long as Iran's case has not been concluded at the IAEA, the United States will pick up new points against Tehran, even if Iran and the EU carry out their agreement, said analysts.
Another uncertainty for the development of the Iranian nuclear case is the duration of the suspension.
Iran has repeatedly claimed that the suspension would last as long as related negotiations go on.
This, however, contradicted with the opinion of the IAEA Director of General Mohamed ElBaradei, who said there was no time limit on Iran's suspension.
With these uncertainties remaining, the Iranian nuclear issue is still far away from being solved once and for all.