With just two days left before six party talks in Geneva, the White House has gone on the offensive against Iran, demanding that the nation allow the IAEA to have access to the still-under-construction facility outside of Qom.
The demands are not new, and have indeed been repeated frequently by the US and its allies since it was learned that Iran had informed the IAEA about it on Monday, September 21. What seems to be lost on them, however, is that the IAEA has already been informed by Iran that they are welcome to inspect the facility and that they have already entered into discussions to set up a timetable for the IAEA’s presence, which would likely be completed long before the facility is operational.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs also condemned the plant as an “undeniable” violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Gibbs did not elaborate on the claim and was not asked to do so during the press briefing, but under the terms of their membership in the IAEA Iran was required to inform the international body that the facility was under construction at least six months before its completion, and they have.
Officials for the Iranian government have said the new but much smaller uranium enrichment facility, being build under the mountains near Qom, is there because it would make aerial bombardment of the facility much more difficult. The already active Natanz facility is built above ground and would likely be a primary target in the long-threatened attack by either Israel or the United States.