Heading to Vienna to meet with officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley intends to demand that the agency begin conducting thorough inspections of Iranian military sites, claiming the P5+1 deal gives them authority “to look at any suspicious sites.”
This is likely to be a matter of serious dispute, as before the P5+1 deal was signed, the IAEA had already confirmed all issues surrounding Iran’s military sites were resolved, and the public version of the P5+1 text does not give them any access to random military sites for inspections.
Despite Haley’s claim that the IAEA has such authority, she goes on to accuse Iran of having something to hide, likely because she knows full well Iran isn’t going to comply with these demands, even if the IAEA capitulates and asks for access to the sites.
This might be part of the Trump Administration’s ongoing plan to try to undermine the P5+1 nuclear deal, providing some pretext to declare Iran “in violation” and withdraw from it. Iran has in the past complained that IAEA searches of their conventional military sites have been tantamount to US spying operations, and that details about their defensive systems tend to get leaked to US officials almost immediately.
Repeated searches of the same Iranian military sites in the past were a major source of tensions,and when Iran would finally declare enough is enough after several visits turning up nothing and the US demanding another look, the US would claim it as proof Iran had secrets to keep. The Trump Administration appears to be renewing this approach, though how successful they’ll be with the P5+1 deal in place remains to be seen.
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