Iran vows to bar international inspectors from military sites

Adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei claims directive will be enforced regardless of world powers’ interpretations of nuke deal

Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Monday, May 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Monday, May 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

A top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed Saturday that the Islamic Republic would deny International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors any access to the country’s military sites, contradicting remarks by US officials following the signing of a nuclear agreement with Tehran last week.

“The access of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency or from any other body to Iran’s military centers is forbidden,” Ali Akbar Velayati, Khamenei’s adviser for international affairs, said in an interview with Al-Jazeera satellite TV. Velayati further stressed that the directive will be enforced regardless of interpretations by the P5+1 world powers to the contrary.

Iran and world powers agreed last week in Vienna to a deal that limits Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for an end to crippling economic sanctions.

Under the complex formulations in the agreement, Iran would have notice of 24 days for international inspections of suspect sites, a stipulation that was heavily criticized by Israel and other opponents of the deal. Skeptics say it is an ideal scenario for Iran to cheat.

Iran and the IAEA have, according to reports, signed a separate agreement regarding UN inspections at Parchin. This was denied by the head of Iran’s atomic agency on Friday.

“The AEOI and the IAEA do not have any separate agreement on visiting the Parchin military site,” Ali Akbar Salehi told the state-run ICANA news agency, referring to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, respectively.

Both Salehi’s and Velayati’s remarks appear to contradict a clause in the so-called road map signed by Salehi and IAEA chief Yukiya Amano on July 14, which Amano called “clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program.”

According to the joint statement released by the two at the time, Iran and the IAEA agreed on another separate arrangement regarding the issue of Parchin. Amano’s individual statement at the time reiterates that the road map contains “a separate arrangement regarding the issue of Parchin.”

US lawmakers opposed to the Iran agreement cite “secret side deals” within it, among them provisions for inspections of Parchin. These provisions were not previously revealed to Congress as part of its 60-day review process of the deal, something that is required by law.

Secretary of State John Kerry and the Obama administration have refused to confirm claims that an IAEA-Iran side deal provides for Iran itself to provide samples from suspect sites, rather than allowing access to IAEA inspectors.

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