Thursday, May 21, 2015

Iran's Ayatollah: Nuke Inspectors Will Not Have Access to Military Sites, Scientists

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif prepares for closed-door nuclear talks at the U.N. in Geneva Switzerland on Nov. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini, File)
( – As the Iran nuclear talks were due to resume in Vienna on Wednesday, Iran's spiritual leader and it main nuclear negotiator both doubled down on rejecting a core element of any deal – the right of international inspectors to access military sites.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told military commanders Wednesday he will not allow international inspection of Iran's military sites or access to Iranian scientists under any nuclear agreement with world powers. He said Iran will resist "coercion and excessive demands," the Associated Press reported.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif insisted that International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials would not be allowed to inspect the facilities, and also charged that Western claims to the contrary were merely designed to placate pressure groups at home.
The Obama administration says that Iran agreed to such inspections in an interim “framework” agreement reached on April 2. A White House fact sheet at the time said it was agreed Iran must allow IAEA inspectors “regular access to all” declared nuclear facilities, as well as access to any locations of suspected illicit nuclear activity, “anywhere in the country.”
That nuclear verification regime, described by President Obama as “the most robust and intrusive” ever negotiated,” goes beyond the requirements of the “additional protocols” to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which apply to the nuclear programs of more than 130 countries.
But Zarif, speaking alongside his Hungarian counterpart in Tehran, stated that Iran’s additional protocol implementation – which he emphasized was voluntary – would never entail “excessive and unreasonable” access to its facilities, since “military and even economic secrets” were not covered by the protocol.
The Tehran Times quoted him as saying that certain Western officials’ “sensational” remarks about access to Iran’s facilities were simply intended merely to “pacify” pressure groups.
Zarif also chided the U.S. for what he suggested was its disregard for what had been agreed upon in the framework agreement.

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