The man who first warned the world about Iran’s current nuclear ambitions says newly revealed side deals that allow Iran to inspect one of it’s own nuclear sites is tantamount to letting a murderer investigate his own crime scene.
In recent days, the Associated Press reported that unrevealed side deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, allow Iran to conduct it’s own inspections on a critical facility thought to be involved in the creation of nuclear weapons.
Alireza Jafarzadeh is deputy director of the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which is the Iranian parliament in exile since 1979. He says information obtained from inside Iran backs up the Associated Press account of the secret agreement.
“The information that we’ve been receiving from other sources was actually pointing to the same facts that appeared in the Associated Press story, which is allowing Iran to take it’s own samples (of soil near suspected nuclear weapons sites,” said Jafarzadeh.
He is stunned that so much latitude is being given to the particular plant in question.
“[They are focused on] a specific site called Parchin, which is a military site that is believed to have been used by Iran a few years ago and perhaps continued afterwards for high explosive tests, which is only used for building a nuclear weapon,” said Jafarzadeh.
Given past Iranian defiance on nuclear issues and it’s unrepentant support for terrorism, Jafarzadeh says allowing Iran to conduct its own inspections makes no sense.
“Allowing the Iranian regime to inspect Parchin and provide results to the IAEA is like allowing a murderer to investigate his own murder and provide the victim’s DNA to the police,” he said.
Jafarzadeh says members of Congress he’s spoken with are frustrated by the Obama administration’s refusal to provide the content of the side deals.
“The entire nuclear agreement between Iran and P5 plus One (the five permanent members of the United National Security Council plus Germany)is heavily based upon the scrutiny and the intrusive inspection of Iranian sites, which is going to take place by the IAEA. Yet, the members of Congress are not allowed to see how the IAEA is actually going to do that,” said Jafarzadeh.
Even based on what we do know about the side deals, Jafarzadeh says Iran is getting very different treatment than other nations facing nuclear scrutiny.
“Under any standards, you cannot take your own samples. The standard of the IAEA is that they have to be there. They have to be present. They have to make sure that the place was not decontaminated before. They have to look at other factors in the environment that could effect the sampling. They have to maintain the continuity of ownership over the samples before it’s taken to the lab for inspection,” said Jafarzadeh.
Jafarzadeh says the IAEA appears to be no pillar of resolve in these side negotiations but he says ultimate responsibility for the lax inspections belongs at our own feet.
“Many members of Congress believe that even though is apparently a side agreement between the IAEA and Iran, but the overall circumstances that has led to these side deals was really worked out between the P5 plus One – namely the United States – and Iran,” he said.
According to Jafarzadeh, the very least the allies should have procured was an Iranian admission about previous pursuits of nuclear weapons. That didn’t happen either.
“If you don’t know exactly what Iran did in building the bomb before and you’re not going to resolve it in a satisfactory way, how can you be sure that Iran is going to be truthful [in] the future. If they continue to hide what they’d hidden before, then that’s a clear indication that they still have the same objective, which is building the bomb,” said Jafarzadeh.
But he says you don’t even need documentation of previous intentions to know what’s coming next in Iran, because the leaders are brazen in their desires.
“As far as Iran is concerned, they have not changed their agenda, which is building the bomb. The supreme leader continues to seek building a nuclear bomb. Unfortunately, the JCPOA (Joint Completed Plan of Action) leaves all pathways to the bomb open,” said Jafarzadeh.