Iran refuses surprise inspections of its nuclear facilities

IAEA Director General Yukia Amano. (IAEA)

IAEA Director General Yukia Amano. (IAEA)

Leading up to what appears to be a bad deal with Iran, the IAEA has confirmed that Iran is objecting to concessions that are necessary to prove it is not building a bomb.

Just a day after UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano stated that Iran was not implementing protocols needed to determine whether its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes only and whether Tehran was developing nuclear weapons, Iran stated it will not accept surprise inspections of its facilities.

An Iranian official rebuked the IAEA chief on Tuesday for demanding snap inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites, saying the request hindered efforts to reach an agreement with world powers, Iran state TV reported.

Earlier this month, Amano said Tehran should agree to unscheduled inspections to reassure the international community of the Iranians’ alleged peaceful intent.

Iranian nuclear spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said Amano’s comments harm the delicate negotiations. “It would be much better if Amano only talked about the IAEA’s seasonal and monthly reports,” he said, according to state TV.

Last June, Kamalvandi said Iran may accept snap inspections as part of a final nuclear agreement.

P5+1 Members Not Satisfied with Negotiations

The P5+1 – the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – face an end-of-the-month deadline to reach a rough framework agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, which would be finalized by June 30. Western nations suspect Tehran is pursuing a nuclear bomb. Iran denies such allegations, claiming that its nuclear activities are entirely for peaceful purposes.

Minister of Intelligence Yuval Steinitz. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

Minister of Intelligence Yuval Steinitz. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

The latest round of nuclear negotiations ended in Lausanne on Friday after six days of intense discussions among representatives of Iran, the US and the European Union (EU).

At a UN Security Council briefing by the Iran sanctions committee on Tuesday, French Ambassador Francois Delattre said progress in the negotiations “at this point is not sufficient.” Britain’s deputy ambassador Peter Wilson warned that “we will not agree to a bad deal,” adding that Iran must show greater flexibility and make tough decisions in the days ahead.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that any deal reached would be “linked to a thorough review” of the UN sanctions regime on Iran.

The talks are to resume Wednesday. Among the unresolved issues is a ruling by the atomic agency on whether Iran had worked on nuclear arms in the past.

Tehran denies that it had, but the agency says it has information suggesting otherwise. The issue remained a stalemate for a decade, however, in attempts to follow up on these suspicions.

In the meantime, Israel’s intelligence minister returned to Israel on Tuesday after a two-day diplomatic mission to Europe, during which he tried to dissuade negotiating powers from making dangerous concessions to Iran.

“Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz completed two days of intensive discussion in Paris and London,” a statement from Eyal Basson, his spokesman, read. The minister was accompanied by National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen and other intelligence experts, who met the British negotiating team, headed by Simon Gass, and senior intelligence officials.

Steinitz said that a deal should obligate Iran to reveal details about past experiments carried out on nuclear weapons technology, the statement added, providing no further details on the content of the discussions.

By: Atara Beck, World Israel News and AP