As the Iran nuclear deal moves forward, UN nuclear inspectors will soon witness Iranian technicians taking samples from one of their key military facilities. This action is part of a confidential agreement between the IAEA and Iran over inspections at the site in Parchin, which is suspected to have been involved in secret weapons tests.
As part of the July nuclear deal, Iran agreed to accept the UN inspections in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
Earlier releases of the agreement concerning IAEA inspectors role at the Parchin site stated that they would not be allowed to directly observe, relying only on the statements and samples taken by Iranian scientists. This earlier announcement provided an easy target for U.S. lawmakers who had been critical of Obama’s efforts on the nuclear deal.
The presence of IAEA personnel during the sample acquisition is standard practice for the organization, which also stipulated that cameras be present for the event.
FOX news has widely publicized accounts claiming that Iran would be conducting military site inspections without international oversight. Neither the IAEA, nor Iran’s IAEA representative Reza Najafi would comment further on the agreement between IAEA personnel and his country’s technicians, however.
Until they confirm the inspection conditions, Iran will not receive relief from existing U.S. sanctions.
Even with the lack of a confirmation on the inspection specifics, a vote to derail the nuclear deal failed in both the House and Senate this week as Republicans were unable to secure a two third’s majority in either body.
Important conditions will have to be met by Iran by year’s end, including information about its past nuclear program activities, which may have been military in nature. Specifically, it is suspected that Iran may have conducted hydrodynamic testing at the Parchin site in order to evaluate the strengths of different materials as they were subject to a nuclear explosion.