An apparent draft of one of the secret side agreements to the Iran nuclear deal indicates that Tehran will be permitted to use its own experts to inspect the Parchin nuclear site believed to have housed nuclear arms development.
The Associated Press obtained the document, which an anonymous official described as a draft of an agreement between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that does not differ much from the final version. The IAEA is the U.N. agency responsible for ensuring that Tehran abides by the stipulations in the finalized deal.
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The secret agreements between Iran and the IAEA–of which there are at least two–have to do with the inspection of Iran’s Parchin military facility as well as the extent to which Tehran must admit to the details of its alleged nuclear weapons program.
Despite repeated calls from lawmakers, President Obama has refused to provide Congress with the details of the secret deals.
The AP reports:
Any IAEA member country must give the agency some insight into its nuclear program. Some countries are required to do no more than give a yearly accounting of the nuclear material they possess. But nations—like Iran—suspected of possible proliferation are under greater scrutiny that can include stringent inspections.
But the agreement diverges from normal inspection procedures between the IAEA and a member country by essentially ceding the agency’s investigative authority to Iran. It allows Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence for activities that it has consistently denied—trying to develop nuclear weapons.
The document suggests that IAEA officials will merely monitor Iranian experts as they inspect the Parchin site and provide the U.N. agency with photos and videos taken only of areas that Iran has not deemed off-limits because of military implications.
Iranian technicians are also to perform the sampling of weapons development work, which is limited to seven samples inside the facility building.
In the face of criticism, the Obama administration has denied that the nuclear deal is built on the trust of the Iranians.
Multiple GOP lawmakers have sounded the alarm regarding the secret agreements between Tehran and the IAEA, accusing Obama of violating the law by denying Congress access to the details of the side deals.
Before the final deal was reached in Vienna, Obama signed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which requires congressional lawmakers view all documents of the nuclear agreement–specifically including those reached on the "side."