President Barack Obama insisted in a speech Aug. 5 that the Iran deal “doesn’t require trust,” because it “verifies” Iranian compliance.
Now, that claim has been destroyed, thanks to an Associated Press report confirming that Iran will be testing a suspected nuclear site on its own.
“Iran, in an unusual arrangement, will be allowed to use its own experts to inspect a site it allegedly used to develop nuclear arms under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work,” the AP reported, citing a draft document it had been shown.
Iran is suspected of using the military site, known as Parchin, for developing nuclear weapons technology. Reports have already emerged that Iran may be trying to “sanitize” the site to hide whatever evidence it can before United Nations inspectors are granted (limited) access.
Secretary of State John Kerry has also insisted that the Iran deal is not based on trust: “There is no trust — no no no. This is not based on trust….Everything in this agreement is verifiable,” he told NBC News’ Matt Lauer in an interview on the Today show in late July.
In recent hearings before Congress, Kerry and other Obama administration officials were asked whether Iran would be able to inspect itself under secret side deals with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Kerry declined to confirm, saying the answer was confidential.
According to the AP report about the secret deal, the IAEA “won’t even get photo or video information from areas Iran says are off-limits.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who first brought the existence of the secret deals to light, pointed out that they had not been provided to Congress as required by the Iran Nuclear Review Agreement Act (the Corker bill). The administration has said that it had not seen the text of the deals between Iran and the IAEA, but said that it would be willing to brief members of Congress about their contents in confidential meetings.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who announced his opposition to the Iran deal yesterday, told the Obama administration at Senate hearings that allowing Iran to test its own would ruin the “chain of custody” of the evidence, making the inspections process worthless.