WASHINGTON – “Absolutely insane,” was the succinct reaction of Iran expert Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy on the latest revelations about President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran.
Equally succinct, “Enough,” is what U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, declared in a statement given to WND before it was released to the general public.
The Associated Press has confirmed a pair of stunning details in the agreement:
- A secret side deal lets Iran decide which sites to inspect.
- The side deal also lets Iran do the inspections at a key site.
AP reported Wednesday it had reviewed a document outlining the side deal between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA.
In a nutshell, the secret side deal would:
- Let Iran use its own inspectors to investigate the Parchin site where experts suspect it has been developing nuclear arms.
- Let Iran provide the IAEA its own photos and and videos of suspect locations, while, “taking into account military concerns.”
- AP said that wording suggests international inspectors will be barred from sites Iran declares have “military concerns.”
- AP said the wording also suggests the IAEA won’t get photo or video information from areas Iran says are off limits because they have military significance.
- While the document says the IAEA “will ensure the technical authenticity” of Iran’s inspection, it does not say how.
“Never before did the IAEA simply allow a party suspected of violations to inspect themselves,” a stunned Lopez told WND.
There is apparently more than one side deal.
AP reported the document is labeled “separate arrangement II,” which indicates there is at least one more confidential agreement between the IAEA and Iran.
AP said the document it reviewed is a draft, but “one official familiar with its contents said it doesn’t differ substantially from the final version.”
The IAEA chief told Republican senators last week that he could not let them see the side deal.
“Enough,” responded Cruz on Wednesday evening.
“Enough of the concessions, capitulations and backroom deals that make up President Obama’s catastrophic nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The most recent revelation that Iran will be selecting its own inspectors to verify the nature of its nuclear program is made all the more egregious by the fact that as the single largest contributor to the IAEA (support that is mandated in the deal) United States taxpayers will be paying for a farce that is a direct threat to their own security.”
Cruz concluded, “This is not a partisan issue. It is not about President Obama’s political legacy. It is about the future of our country, and that of our allies. We have to stop this disastrous deal.”
Lopez rhetorically asked WND: “Why do inspections at all at sites deemed ‘suspect’ if those suspected of doing something that violates the deal are going to be trusted, essentially, with inspecting themselves?
“Was there ever anything more absurd?” she wondered incredulously.
“That’s not how the IAEA inspects any other country with a nuclear program. When (former Libyan leader Moammar) Gadhafi gave up his weapons of mass destruction program, the various agency inspectors were given access everywhere to verify that he’d genuinely given up.
“When South Africa terminated its nuclear weapons program under IAEA supervision, the government welcomed the inspectors and gave them access to wherever they needed to go. It’s attitude was one of cooperation and transparency. That’s not how Saddam Hussein behaved, and it’s not how Iran’s regime is behaving now,” she concluded.
Critics of the Iran deal say it is based on trust of the Iranian regime while the administration claimed on Wednesday “the IAEA has separately developed the most robust inspection regime ever peacefully negotiated.”
AP reported, “The agreement in question diverges from normal procedures by allowing Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence of activities it has consistently denied – trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
The deputy IAEA director general in charge of the Iran probe from 2005 to 2010 told AP he could think of no similar concession with any other country.
Secretary of State John Kerry said in April that, under the deal, Iran would allow the IAEA to inspect anywhere it wants. He would later deny saying that, while testifying under oath to Congress.
After the deal was concluded, Kerry told senators on July 23 he “never uttered the words anywhere, anytime” regarding inspections of Iran’s facilities, and claimed “it was never part of negotiations.”
That’s not what the Obama administration said in April, and it directly contradicted what Deputy National Security adviser Ben Rhodes promised back then, when he said the International Atomic Energy Agency would have immediate access to any Iranian nuclear site.
Rhodes has since flip-flopped and directly contradicted himself.
On April 6, he said, “Under this deal, you will have anywhere, anytime, 24/7 access as it relates to the nuclear facilities that Iran has.”
On July 14, he said, “We never sought in this negotiation the capacity for so-called anytime, anywhere” inspections.
Parchin is just one of the sites where Iran has not permitted IAEA inspectors to go.
Iran has denied any nuclear weapons work was done at Parchin but has never allowed access to the site. The IEAE suspects Iran experimented on nuclear detonators at Parchin, based on U.S., Israeli and other intelligence.
Work at Parchin stopped more than decade ago, but the IAEA has cited satellite image evidence of apparent attempts to clean the site.
Lopez told WND in April that if “you read between the lines” of its report back in November 2011, it was clear that even the IAEA believed Iran had been working on a nuclear warhead as well as the explosive triggers for initiating the implosion sequence.
She also said, “All the evidence suggests Iran already has nuclear warheads.”
Worse yet, she said the Obama administration almost certainly knows that.
“IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) reporting over recent years indicates at a minimum they strongly suspect that Iran already has built nuclear warheads. It’s certainly known that Iran has long range ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles.)”
Lopez added, “They’ve had the information how to build a warhead for a long time. They’ve had expert assistance from, at a minimum, North Korea and Pakistan.”
“They’re documented by the IAEA as having engaged in activities related to warhead development. There are satellite images from Parchin of what are believed to be ‘containers’ in which warhead triggers were tested. And Iranian officials have been reported present in North Korea during nuclear tests.”
Before the deal was announced, Lopez warned, “The whole inspection thing is kind of voluntary. The IEAE submits a request to tell the Iranians where they want to go and they can comply or not.”
Lopez described the Iranians’ transparency and honesty about its program as nonexistent. And, she noted, Iran has always avoided compliance with the international obligations it has already agreed to.
“Every single facility that we know about, publicly, in their nuclear weapons program was revealed by someone other than Iran. As a signatory to the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) they are responsible for reporting to the IEAE all of their facilities and opening them up to inspection. They have never, ever volunteered admission of a single one. It all came from satellite photos, intelligence services or the Iranian opposition.”
Since satellite photography showed the structures at Parchin were designed for the testing of the explosive charges used to detonate nuclear warheads, Lopez said it begged the question: “On what do you test these explosive triggers, if you don’t have a warhead?”
Lopez said the Iranians were conducting research and development on nuclear warheads at Lavizan, the existence of which was revealed by the NCRI in 2002.
“Once it was exposed, the Iranians razed it to the ground. Leveled all the buildings, every tree, bush, and blade of grass and carted it off to I-don’t-I-know-where, and then they turned the place into a city park with picnic benches and tennis courts. This is how they act.”
Lopez said the key threshold for the Iranians is perfecting a delivery system for a warhead.
“I don’t know if they’ve married it to a missile. Until it’s on top of a missile it’s not deliverable, at least, in the usual way.”
She described Iran’s missiles as an enormous problem the West is ignoring at its own peril.
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