A predominantly one-topic blog: how is it that the most imminent and lethal implication for humankind - the fact that the doctrine of "Mutually Assured Destruction" will not work with Iran - is not being discussed in our media? Until it is recognized that MAD is dead, the Iranian threat will be treated as a threat only to Israel and not as the global threat which it in fact is.
A blog by Mladen Andrijasevic
Friday, June 26, 2015
Is the Obama Administration Forfeiting IAEA Inspections of Iranian Military Sites?
The Iranian nuclear program’s heavy-water reactor at Arak.
The coming days represent a fateful stage in U.S.-led attempts
to reach a diplomatic solution with Iran over its nuclear program -and
disturbing signs are emerging that the Obama Administration is prepared to
relinquish demands by the international community for Iranian transparency.
Negotiators from the five permanent United Nations Security
Council countries, plus Germany (known as the P5+1 countries) had hoped for a
smooth final round of talks leading to a comprehensive agreement.
Instead, they find themselves facing a firm Iranian refusal to
allow international inspectors to visit military installations in Iran where
suspected work had been carried out on a military nuclear weapons program.
Iran is also refusing to back down from its refusal to allow the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to question Iranian nuclear
scientists about possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program.
time looms ahead of the June
30 deadline, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei
has clearly signaled that he will not budge on his refusal to
let the IAEA gain access to suspicious sites and to key nuclear research
personnel. If negotiators cave to these demands, the damage to global arms
control efforts, and to international security as a whole, will be significant.
never yield to pressure … We will not accept unreasonable demands … Iran will
not give access to its (nuclear) scientists. We will not allow the privacy of
our nuclear scientists or any other important issue to be violated,” Khamenei recently told Iranian state TV.
“I will not let foreigners talk to our scientists and to
interrogate our dear children … who brought us this extensive (nuclear)
knowledge,” he said.
Jazzayeri, deputy chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, echoed the Supreme Leader’s position, saying that that
permission “will definitely never be issued for any kind of access to the
military centers, even if it runs counter to the acceptance of the additional
protocol (to the NPT) … Foreigners’ visits to defense and military centers as
well as obtaining information about the related equipment and tactics are
against the orders (of the commander-in-chief Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) and
also the demands of the entire Iranian nation.”
“Everyone should know that in our view, visiting the military
centers is completely impossible since it is among our redlines and we will not
allow anyone to opine on such issues,” the deputy Iranian chief of staff added.
If the international community accepts Khamenei’s stance, it
means it will effectively force the IAEA to close the case on previous Iranian
attempts to gain information on how to build a nuclear warhead.
The signs from Washington indicate that the Obama Administration
may be prepared to acquiesce.
fixated on Iran accounting for what they did at some point. We know what they
did. We’re concerned about going forward,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in recent remarks, revealing just show just how far
the Administration is prepared to go to reach a deal.
Department then tried to walk back Kerry’s remarks, insisting that the U.S.
has not shifted its stance and continues to demand that Iran addresses IAEA
concerns. But these efforts to play down a shift in the White House’s stance
are not particularly convincing.
Thursday, the New York Timesreported about a letter sent to President Obama by five
former advisers expressing their concern that Administration concessions put it
on a path toward a deal that “may fall short of meeting the administration’s
own standard of a ‘good’ agreement,” and laying out a series of minimum
requirements that Iran must agree to in coming days for them to support a final
The deficiencies, Flynn, said, included “the matter of
incomplete verification. Iran’s leaders made it clear the furthest they will go
is to allow international inspectors (IAEA) only ‘managed access’ to nuclear
facilities, and only with significant prior notification. This makes it nearly
impossible, as a matter of full transparency, to have real ‘eyes on’ the state
of Iranian nuclear development to include their missile program….Iran’s nuclear
program has significant – and not fully disclosed – military dimensions. The
P5+1 dialogue with Iran has glossed over a number of such programs (including
warhead miniaturization blueprints) in pursuit of an agreement.”
The former DIA director warned that “it is prudent to conclude
that there are elements of Iran’s nuclear program that still remain hidden from
view… Giving Iran a pass on these issues would send a deeply troubling signal
to the nuclear Non-Proliferations of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT).”
willingness to forgo any semblance of Iranian transparency will surely set off
alarm bells in Middle Eastern capitals threatened by Iran, from Jerusalem to
Riyadh to Cairo. In fact, the European Union has reportedly indicated that it would reject any
proposal for a deal that omits IAEA inspections of Iranian sites and the
questioning of nuclear scientists.
The EU has pressed Iran on the need to cooperate with IAEA
monitoring. It publicly voiced its disappointment last year when an IAEA report
said Tehran refused to answer questions about PMDs, and called on Iran to
cooperate with the UN agency.
Although the U.S. is by far the most influential member of the
P5+1, and is the lead negotiator within the group, Washington would still
require a consensus agreement from the other members in order to conclude any
to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute
(MEMRI), Brennan had hoped to convince Israel – and through it, the EU – of the
adequacy of intelligence monitoring for keeping tabs on Iran’s nuclear program,
and the lack of any real need for IAEA inspections at military sites.
Whether or not that claim is true, it still fails to deal with
the fallout such an arrangement would trigger in the region, with its casual abandonment
of past breaches of the NPT, and the ease with which arms control enforcement
Such a development could easily be interpreted by Sunni Arab
states, like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as a green light to violate the NPT, too.
These states and others, which are not very stable and face
challenges from radical Islamists, could begin work on their own nuclear
program, to provide a counter to their threatening Shi’ite rival.
Should a nuclear arms race in the world’s most unstable region
break out, it would pose an enormous challenge to international security. It
was supposed to be one of the things an agreement with Iran would avoid.
Lappin is the Jerusalem Post’s military and national security affairs
correspondent, and author ofThe Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books), which
proposes that jihadis on the internet have established a virtual Islamist