Report on Parchin Inspection a Misrepresentation

Report on Parchin Inspection a Misrepresentation  Report on Parchin Inspection a Misrepresentation

The UN nuclear watchdog chief on Thursday rejected as "a misrepresentation" suggestions Iran would inspect its own Parchin military site on the agency's behalf as part of an inquiry into Iran's nuclear work.

Iran will be granted relief from international economic sanctions once the International Atomic Energy Agency confirms it is keeping promises enshrined in the landmark July 14 nuclear accord with major powers.   

Any indications that Iran's part of the accord cannot be directly verified by the IAEA could make it harder for US President Barack Obama to secure crucial ratification by the US Congress by a Sept. 17 deadline.

The IAEA claims Iran may have conducted hydrodynamic tests at Parchin in the past to assess how specific materials react under high pressure, such as in a nuclear explosion. Tehran denies the charge.

An unconfirmed AP report had cited a draft document suggesting the IAEA would not send its own inspectors into Parchin but would instead get data from Iran on the site.

"I am disturbed by statements suggesting that the IAEA has given responsibility for nuclear inspections to Iran. Such statements misrepresent the way in which we will undertake this important verification work," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said in an unusually strongly worded statement on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Under a roadmap accord Iran reached with the IAEA alongside the July 14 pact, Tehran is required to give the IAEA enough information about its past nuclear program to allow the Vienna-based watchdog to write a report on the issue by year-end.

Iran says its nuclear program has no military dimensions.Under its probe into Iran's past nuclear activities, the IAEA has asked for fresh, direct access to Parchin.

  Sound Arrangements

"I can state that the arrangements are technically sound and consistent with our long-established practices. They do not compromise our safeguards standards in any way," Amano said.

The US State Department said on Thursday the UN nuclear agency would "in no way" hand over responsibility for nuclear inspections to Iran. "That is not how the IAEA does business," State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

"The US government's nuclear experts are confident in the agency's technical plans for investigating the possible military dimensions of Iran's former program," he said.

A Vienna-based diplomat said he was confident the IAEA would carry out its work on Iran effectively. "Although, we understand the discussions on how to best implement the roadmap are still ongoing."

  Media Speculation

Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, told Tasnim News Agency, "Reports in the media about the agreement between Iran and IAEA are just speculation."

Obama is striving to gather 34 votes in the Senate to ensure Congress cannot kill the nuclear deal. Twenty-six senators, all Democrats, have said they will support it. Hawkish opposition Republicans are strongly opposed.

"Why haven't these secret side agreements been provided to Congress and the American people for review? Why should Iran be trusted to carry out its own nuclear inspections…?" John Boehner, Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives, said after the report of the IAEA "outsourcing" inspections emerged.

"The separate arrangements under the roadmap agreed between the IAEA and Iran in July are confidential and I have a legal obligation not to make them public – the same obligation I have for hundreds of such arrangements," Amano said.