One of the biggest stumbling blocks to a nuclear agreement with Iran has been Tehran’s refusal to answer questions by the IAEA about past nuclear activities that appear to be related to nuclear weapons development.
Iran struck an agreement with the IAEA in November 2013 to answer these questions as part of a 12-step process.
This agreement has been described by U.S. officials as an important factor in reaching a final nuclear deal with Iran since it would reassure the world that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it halted any weapons-related research and development.
Although Obama officials regularly claim Iran has fully cooperated with the IAEA during the nuclear talks, Iran has only addressed 1 of the 12 areas identified by the IAEA.
According to a shocking Wall Street Journal article published today, Western states are proposing to get beyond this problem by proposing to weaken the 12-step agreement by asking Iran to grant the IAEA access to a few nuclear sites now and answer questions about nuclear weapons-related work sometime in the future.
According to the Journal article: “Under the new plan, Tehran wouldn’t be expected to immediately clarify all the outstanding questions raised by the IAEA in a 2011 report on Iran’s alleged secretive work. A full reckoning of Iran’s past activities would be demanded in later years as part of a nuclear deal that is expected to last at least 15 years.”
The Journal also noted that France is leading the way in pushing Iran to answer questions about its past nuclear weapons work because it believes concessions on this issue “could set a bad precedent that weakens international efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation.”
Instead of a 10-year duration for a nuclear agreement with Iran, France is pushing for a agreement to last 15 years with an additional 10 years of intensive IAEA monitoring.
Does anyone really believe Iran will answer for past nuclear weapons work after a final nuclear agreement is in place when it refused to do so during the nuclear talks? And why won’t the news media focus on how the socialist government of French President Francois Hollande has become the hold-out to the Obama administration’s nuclear sell-out to Iran’s mullahs?
This nuclear deal with Iran is looking worse and worse.
Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst, followed the Iranian nuclear program for the CIA, State Department, and House Intelligence Committee. He is senior vice president for policy and programs at the Center for Security Policy. Read more reports from Fred Fleitz
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