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Key Nuclear Installations Missing from Iran Deal

Parchin military plant and Bushehr reactor are absent from deal; experts warn loopholes allow Iran to build nuclear bomb ‘in weeks.’
366248Suspicious activity at Parchin (illustration)    Reuters

As experts got a chance to examine the details of the 159-page Iran nuclear deal signed Tuesday, they warned that it ignores various key aspects of the Islamic regime’s nuclear program, and that the lifting of arms sanctions may pave Iran’s path to nuclear-capable missiles.

A glaring omission is seen in the absolute lack of any reference to the highly covert Parchin military base located southeast of Tehran, which is suspected of being the center of Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Iran has admitted to testing exploding bridge wire nuclear detonators at the site, and reports tied the Parchin base to Iran’s nuclear program following a mysterious explosion at the site last October.

IAEA reports in November 2011 pointed to nuclear weapons development previously conducted at the site, and a 2012 IAEA report likewise confirmed explosives containment vessels were at the site and likely used to test nuclear detonations. Satellite photos have shown Iran has been modifying the site, possibly expanding the tests and covering up their existence.

Iran has repeatedly refused IAEA requests to inspect Parchin. IAEA chief Yukiya Amano announced on Tuesday that in addition to the nuclear deal, a “road map” agreement was sealed, by which Iran will disclose military aspects of its nuclear program by October 15.After this, Amano will write an assessment of Iran’s claimed disclosures by December 15 “with a view to closing the issue.”

Amano said the agreement would include a visit to Parchin, but it remains to be seen how much time Iran will have to prepare for such a visit and possibly hide evidence of nuclear tests; Iranian officials rejected last-minute reports that inspections would be allowed at all covert sites.

IAEA roadmap: putting the cart in front of the horse

Thomas Moore, an arms control specialist and staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Washington Free Beacon that the IAEA “road map” should have taken place before the nuclear deal, and not after it.

“The IAEA’s resolution of the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program should precede the deal, not by months but by as much time as it takes to verify the absence of Iran’s (past military work), including the full historical picture of its program. And the deal does not do that,” said Moore.

Not only does the deal not directly address military aspects of Iran’s nuclear program, critics warn it contains several loopholes that will greatly limit its effectiveness in stopping Iran’s march to a nuclear weapon.

For one, the agreement calls for Iran’s “voluntary” compliance with the terms of the deal in several places, instead of implementing mandatory steps Iran must fulfill. It also outlines a convoluted bureaucratic process to confront Iranian violations, reports Washington Free Beacon.

What’s more, a section of the deal may allow Iran to avoid revealing its past nuclear weapons testing, stating that Iran “may propose to the IAEA alternative means of resolving the IAEA’s concerns that enable the IAEA to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) at the location in question.”

The deal also includes removing a large number of sanctions, including those targeting Parchin Chemical Industries (PCI), which operates sites at the Parchin base and is thought to be highly involved in the covert nuclear weapons program.


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