Source: Press TV
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says a potential deal between Iran and international powers on Tehran’s nuclear program should grant the agency a right to inspect the country’s military sites.
“When we find inconsistency or when we have doubts we can request access to the undeclared location for example, and this could include military sites," Yukiya Amano said in an interview with two French media outlets, Agence France Press and the French daily Le Monde, on Wednesday.
“Some consideration is needed because of the sensitiveness of the site, but the IAEA has the right to request access at all locations, including military ones,” he said, claiming Iran’s potential signing of the Additional Protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) could provide international inspectors with the right to inspect the country’s military sites.
Amano, however, stopped short of clearly saying that the body has plans for such inspections, saying those inspections will take place if any suspicion is raised.
Iran and a group of international powers known as P5+1 - Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany - are working to reach a final deal on Tehran’s nuclear program by the end of June. The two sides reached a mutual understanding in April, which set the general guidelines for the final deal.
Iran, however, has unequivocally ruled out giving access to its military sites. Last week, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei strongly criticized those requesting access to Iran’s military sites, describing the inspections as a “red line.”
Senior members of the Iranian negotiating team, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, have also denied that Iran’s acceptance of NPT could enable the IAEA to inspect the military sites, saying it only provides the body with “managed access” to Iran’s non-nuclear sites.
The publication of the excerpts of Amanao’s interview with the French outlets came hours before similar remarks by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in a parliamentary session in Paris in which he tried to assure the French lawmakers that a final deal with Iran will include the inspection of military sites.
Fabius said the final deal “will not be accepted by France if it is not clear that verifications can be made at all Iranian facilities, including military sites.”
France has adopted a more aggressive tone with regard to Iran’s nuclear program compared to other members of the P5+1. In days leading to the conclusion of an interim agreement between the two sides in Geneva in November 2013, a diplomat close to the negotiations said that the French diplomats, led by Fabius, were trying to upstage the other powers and were causing unnecessary trouble for participants in the talks.
“This is nothing more than an attempt by Fabius to insert himself into relevance late in the negotiations,” the diplomat told Reuters news agency.
Representatives of Iran and the P5+1 continued their latest round of talks on Wednesday in the Austrian capital of Vienna in a bid to remove the outstanding issues. The two sides have set July 30 as the deadline for a final deal.
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