US Demand for Military Inspections Rejected

US Demand for Military Inspections Rejected
US Demand for Military Inspections Rejected

A senior advisor to the Leader of Islamic Revolution flatly rejected a US demand for inspections of Iran’s military sites, saying foreign access to these facilities would constitute a breach of the Islamic Republic’s national security.

“The Americans will never be permitted to inspect our military sites. They are part of the security premises of the Islamic Republic,” ISNA quoted Ali Akbar Velayati as saying on Saturday.

Last week, AP cited senior US officials as saying the administration of US President Donald Trump is pushing for inspections of what they called suspicious Iranian military sites to test the strength of the 2015 nuclear deal that Trump desperately wants to cancel to please his regional allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Access to Iran’s military sites was one of the most contentious issues during the negotiations leading to the deal, which Tehran rejected outright and only agreed to roll back its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

US Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon floated the proposal to the European members of the Joint Commission, the deal’s oversight panel, late last month in Vienna, where the International Atomic Energy Agency is based.  

Britain, France and Germany joined the US, Russia, China and the European Union two years ago in brokering the accord with Iran.

  Unlikely Consensus

To force inspections of new sites in Iran, the US would need to enlist the support of the UN nuclear agency, which is tasked with monitoring Iran’s compliance and a majority of the countries that helped finalize the deal.

The US partners have rejected Trump’s antagonistic approach toward the deal.  

As a candidate, Trump threatened to rip up the pact that his predecessor, Barack Obama, had brokered.

As president, Trump has fallen short on that promise, as his administration finishes a broader Iran policy review expected to conclude this month.

Tehran can propose alternatives to on-site inspections, or reject the request, which would trigger a 24-day process for the Joint Commission countries to override the rejection. That could drag on for months.  

The inspection requests could play into Trump’s much-anticipated decision about whether to stick with the deal he has long derided.

The anti-Iran campaign gained fresh urgency last month following a dramatic clash within the US administration about whether to reaffirm Iran’s compliance, as is required every 90 days.

Trump was eager to declare Tehran in violation, even though the IAEA has verified Iran’s compliance in all its reports.  

At the urging of top Cabinet members, Trump begrudgingly agreed to reaffirm Tehran’s adherence to the pact.

Trump faces another deadline in three months.


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