Iran will be allowed to scrutinize a suspected nuclear facility themselves under a top secret agreement reached with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), according to files acquired on Wednesday by the Associated Press.
The Parchin Agreement, named after the location where Iran is said to be making a nuclear weapon, was a top secret deal brokered between Iran and the IAEA.
It was not related to the deal reached last month between the Iran, the U.S., and five other countries, but the U.S was aware of its particulars and had endorsed it earlier.
The Associated Press originally reported on Wednesday that the leaked file said that Iranian detectives would take samples of the location themselves “using Iran’s authenticated equipment consistent with technical specifications provided by the agency [IAEA].”
However, the AP amended its statement some hours later, saying that the file revealed that the IAEA would ensure the accuracy of the scrutiny, but did not spell out how.
The White House has constantly refuted that the Parchin Agreement was a “side deal” that permitted Iran to keep making its nuclear weapon capacities in secret.
However, this disclosure will likely trigger condemnation that Iran is being permitted to do just that, by taking control of the investigation without any external oversight.
The file reveals that Iran will be able to cite unclear armed forces concerns to stop the IAEA from physically accessing or even receiving videos or photographs of the Parchin site, the AP said.
The deal is strange, considering that the United Nations agency has closely watched Iran’s alleged attempts to build a nuclear weapon. Much of last month’s agreement was based on the confidence that Iran would conform to international expectations.
Classified information from the U.S., Israel and IAEA has revealed that Iran has tested nuclear explosions in the past at the Parchin military base, but tried to hide proof of it from the inspectors. Iran has constantly denied constructing a nuclear weapon at the Parchin site.
The nuclear agreement reached on July 14th will be subjected to a Congressional election in September. Critics of the deal will probably cite the Parchin Agreement as another primary reason to knock it over.