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Iran Bans U.S. Inspectors from All Nuclear Sites

No Americans permitted under final nuclear deal

Iran NuclearIran’s heavy water nuclear facility is backdropped by mountains near the central city of Arak, Iran / AP

U.S. and Iranian officials confirmed Thursday that no American nuclear inspectors will be permitted to enter the country’s contested nuclear site under the parameters of a deal reached with world powers this week, according to multiple statements by American and Iranian officials.

Under the tenants of the final nuclear deal reached this week in Vienna, only countries with normal diplomatic relations with Iran will be permitted to participate in inspections teams organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The revelation of this caveat has attracted concern from some analysts who maintain that only American experts can be trusted to verify that Iran is not cheating on the deal and operating clandestine nuclear facilities.

The admission is the latest in a series of apparent concessions made by the United States to Iran under the deal. Other portions of the agreement include a promise by the United States to help Iran combat nuclear sabotage and threats to its program.

“Iran will increase the number of designated IAEA inspectors to the range of 130-150 within 9 months from the date of the implementation of the JCPOA, and will generally allow the designation of inspectors from nations that have diplomatic relations with Iran, consistent with its laws and regulations,” the deal states, according to text released by the Russians and Iranians.

Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser, confirmed this in an interview with CNN.

“There are not going to be independent American inspectors separate from the IAEA” on the ground in Iran, Rice said. “The IAEA will be doing the inspections on behalf of the U.S. and the rest of the international community.”

Rice said that the Obama administration trusts those countries whose relations with Iran are normalized to carry out inspections of the Islamic Republic’s sensitive nuclear sites.

“The IAEA, which is a highly respected international organization will field an international team of inspectors, and those inspectors will in all likelihood come from IAEA member states, most of whom have diplomatic relations with Iran,” Rice said. “We of course are a rare exception.”

Elliott Abrams, a former White House National Security Council director under George W. Bush, criticized the administration for consenting to Iranian demands.


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