Iran’s Minister of Defense has rejected the claim that Iranian military would be open to inspections as part of the framework deal agreed to last week, a view seemingly at odds with the fact sheet published by the U.S. State Department.
“This deal is not based on trust. It’s based on unprecedented verification,” President Obama said in his Rose Garden speech announcing the framework agreement. Later he added, “If Iran cheats, the world will know it.”
Those claims seemed to be backed up by a State Department fact sheet which offered a long list of inspections and transparency measures Iran had supposedly agreed to including monitoring of Iran’s uranium mines, mills and centrifuges. According to the fact sheet, Iran had agreed to IAEA inspections of “suspicious sites” located “anywhere in the country.”
On Monday, the NY Times noted that Iran had already said it would not allow inspections of Iranian military sites. And today Michael Rubin of Commentary highlights a Fars News report in which the Iranian Minister of Defense flatly denies Iran will ever allow such inspections:
Iranian Minister of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan has rejected reports on inspection of the country’s military facilities being included in the recent deal achieved by Iran and the world powers (P5+1) in Switzerland’s Lausanne on April 2, Fars news agency reported on April 8. According to Fars, commenting on “domestic media highlighting such baseless claims by foreign media about the Lausanne agreement,” Dehqan said, “Such actions do not serve national interests, but in fact set the ground for enemy’s excessive demands… The Supreme Leader’s, the government’s approach and the determination of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team together do not allow the other party to impose anything on the Iranian nation.” Referring to “false claims by foreign media outlets such as the Guardian newspaper” on inspection of the country’s military facilities being a part of the Lausanne statement, Dehqan stressed: “There is no such agreement. Basically, inspection of military facilities is a red line and no inspection of any kind from such facilities would be accepted.”
Iran’s refusal to allow inspections of military sites suggests the final inspections agreement may not be as robust as the one initially promised by President Obama. That matters, because as former U.N. nuclear inspector David Albright told NPR this week, “Iran has cheated and been more noncooperative with its nonproliferation obligations than I think any other country.”