July 15, 2015
- Obama Says Inspectors Get Access to “Any” Site in Iran. Is It True? – Rebecca Kaplan
President Obama said Tuesday that with the Iran nuclear agreement, “Inspectors will also be able to access any suspicious location. Put simply, the organization responsible for the inspections, the IAEA, will have access where necessary, when necessary.” Under the agreement, inspectors will have continuous monitoring capabilities at known nuclear facilities like Fordow and Natanz. For other areas in the country, including military sites where there is suspected nuclear activity, IAEA inspectors will have to request access.
If inspectors have concerns that Iran is developing its nuclear capabilities at any of the non-official nuclear sites, they are allowed to request access and inform Iran of the basis for their concerns. If they can’t come to an agreement for access within 14 days, the issue goes to a joint commission of the P5+1 powers, Iran, and the EU. They have another seven days to reach an agreement that must be supported by at least five of the eight members. That means 24 days could elapse between the time inspectors first request access to a suspicious site and the time they are allowed entry.
“It’s not anytime, anywhere,” said Sharon Squassoni, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Proliferation Prevention Program. Iran has a lot of room to “wiggle out of things” if they don’t want to give inspectors access. (CBS News)
See also Iran Inspections Regime Is Weaker than Expected – Ilene Prusher
The scope of inspections promoted in April is looking quite different in July. Dr. Ephraim Asculai, who worked at the Israel Atomic Energy Commission for 40 years and is now a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, says that the inspections regime in the Iran deal looks much weaker than had been touted just a few months ago. “If Iranians are presented with specific evidence, only then can the inspectors ask to go and see something. That’s a Catch-22 because no one will show the Iranians real information on a plant that is concealed, because it probably involves spies and phone taps and sensitive information that no one will want to give away.”
“Nothing is mentioned about access to scientists, technicians, engineers – that is not there. Another thing that is not mentioned is the possibility of taking samples outside declared nuclear installations.”
In his speech Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rohani said the deal had achieve all of Iran’s objectives, the first and foremost of which was “to maintain and continue our nuclear activities.” (Ha’aretz)
- See also Text of the Iran Nuclear Deal (Washington Post)
(Click on the title of any article to see the whole article…Ed.)