Iran Not Bound to Allow Inspection of Military Sites

Iran Not Bound to Allow Inspection of Military SitesIran Not Bound to Allow Inspection of Military Sites

A lawmaker dismissed the UN nuclear chief's claim that his agency has the mandate to inspect any Iranian military site, noting that the inspection right is granted by the Additional Protocol that Tehran has agreed to implement on its own volition.

"Any demand by the UN agency for a visit to Iran's military sites would be only valid under the Additional Protocol and JCPOA makes no mention of military activities," Mohammad Jamali said in a Sunday talk with ICANA.

He was using the formal name of the nuclear accord—the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—negotiated with the major powers over two years ago to get relief from international sanctions in return for time-bound constraints on Tehran's nuclear program.

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano, last week, rejected Tehran's assertion that its military sites were off-limits to inspection, saying the IAEA needs access to all "relevant locations" if suspicions arise of possible hidden atomic activities.

Iran has always denied there is any military aspect to its nuclear activities, saying they pursue civilian purposes only.

The Additional Protocol is a legal document granting the IAEA complementary inspection authority to that provided in underlying safeguards agreements, including the right of access to information and sites.

But Tehran is not bound to allow such access to its military facilities because its commitment to the Additional Protocol is voluntary.

Amano's comments are significant, as his agency is policing the deal amid repeated, harsh US attacks against the landmark agreement.

US President Donald Trump has faulted it as too soft on Tehran and left open the option of pulling out of it.

A US pullout could effectively kill the agreement and lead Iran to quickly ramp up its peaceful nuclear program.

  Firm Response

"If the issue of the inspection of the military bases is seriously pursued, it will prompt a firm response from the Islamic Republic," Rahimi declared.

In added US pressure on Iran, Nikki Haley, Washington's UN ambassador, met with Amano last week to underline the American view that military sites are part of any IAEA monitoring.

Iranian officials from President Hassan Rouhani down have rejected that option, with government spokesman, Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, dismissing any push for military inspections as a "dream."

Amano did not directly contradict the Iranian officials, saying his agency does not react to "news reports."

But he told AP that under monitoring conditions accepted by Iran, his agency "has access to (all) locations without making distinctions between military and civilian locations" as it works to ensure that Iran does not have hidden nuclear activities.

Amano's agency on Thursday noted no violations by Tehran in its latest quarterly Iran monitoring report.


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