A spokesman for Iran’s nuclear agency has once again rejected calls to grant IAEA access to military sites, continuing a war of words on the issue that began Sunday.
Press TV reports that Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), gave an interview Monday in which he stated that demands for access to Iran’s military sites were “not practical and acceptable.” According to Press TV, his statement was a response to a claim U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz made earlier in the day.
During an interview with Bloomberg News earlier Monday, Secretary Moniz said, “We expect to have anywhere, anytime access” within Iran. That statement appears to match the contents of the U.S. fact sheet published three weeks ago. The fact sheet states, “Iran will be required to grant access to the IAEA to investigate suspicious sites or allegations of a covert enrichment facility, conversion facility, centrifuge production facility, or yellowcake production facility anywhere in the country.”
Secretary Moniz’s statement about access “anywhere, anytime” was itself an apparent response to a blunt statement Sunday by Brigadier General Hossein Salami. According to Press TV, General Salami gave an interview to Fars News in which he stated, “Not only will we not grant foreigners the permission to inspect our military sites, we will not even give them permission to think about such a subject.” In case that was not clear enough, Gen. Salami added, “They will not even be permitted to inspect the most normal military site in their dreams.”
General Salami is not the first high ranking Iranian to deny the IAEA will get access to Iran’s military sites under the proposed deal. Nearly two weeks ago, Iran’s Defense Minister said any inspection of Iran’s military sites was “a red line” and added that no “inspection of any kind from such facilities would be accepted.” Ayatollah Khamenei backed up that stance the next day.
AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi–who said military site inspections were not “acceptable”–was reportedly awaiting a nuclear delegation from Russia to discuss the construction of two new nuclear power plants in Iran next year.