Tags: Barack Obama | Homeland Security | Iran | Middle East | War on Terrorism | Iran | nuclear

Experts Doubt US Ability to Detect Cheating by Iran

By    |   Monday, 06 April 2015 06:56 PM

Many experts disagree with President Barack Obama's claim that if Iran cheats on a new nuclear treaty, it will be detected, the Washington Free Beacon reported Monday.

On Saturday, Obama declared that the framework nuclear deal reached in Switzerland last week would provide "unprecedented verification" to monitor Iranian compliance. He said international inspectors "will have unprecedented access to Iran's nuclear program because Iran will face more inspections than any other country in the world."

"If Iran cheats, the world will know it," Obama said. "If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it."

The Iran deal, he added, "is not based on trust, it's based on unprecedented verification."

But numerous arms-control experts warned that based on Iran's long history of cheating and the failure of similar arms verification procedures in the past, there was ample reason to doubt the administration's assurances that a final deal will be verifiable.

In fact, a White House fact sheet explaining the nuclear agreement acknowledges that it would not require Iran to dismantle centrifuges or remove stockpiled nuclear material from its territory. Nor would it require Iran to agree to convert such material into less dangerous fuel rods.

The agreement also would permit continued weapons research at nuclear facilities built in violation of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which Iran signed in 1970 but has repeatedly violated.

William R. Harris, an international lawyer who participated in drafting and verification of prior U.S. arms-control agreements, said Iran could cheat by shipping clandestinely built nuclear arms to North Korea. He pointed to reports that Iran had played a role in financing North Korean nuclear tests and that Iranian ballistic missiles may have used North Korean guidance systems.

"So, what would prevent storage of Iranian nuclear weapons at underground North Korean sites?" Harris asked.

U.S. intelligence agencies, which will be asked to verify compliance, also have a "spotty" record on estimating foreign arms programs, the Free Beacon's Bill Gertz wrote.

After "erroneously claiming Iraq had large stocks of weapons of mass destruction, the intelligence community produced a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that falsely concluded that Iran halted work on nuclear weapons in 2003," the website reported.

In a 2011 report, the International Atomic Energy Agency made clear that Iran continued nuclear arms work well after 2003, and that this included computer modeling work used in building nuclear warheads.

Administration officials have said that under the agreement reached last week, inspectors would have information about the covert system used by Iran to circumvent global sanctions and procure materials and equipment for its nuclear program.

But Paula DeSutter, assistant secretary of state for verification, compliance and implementation from 2002 to 2009, said the transparency measures announced after the U.S.-Iran talks last week would "be unable to detect secret illegal activities, like those that Iran carried out on a large scale in violation of its obligations under the NPT," the Free Beacon reported.

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Many experts disagree with President Obama's claim that if Iran cheats on a new nuclear treaty, it will be detected. On Saturday, Obama declared that the framework nuclear deal reached in Switzerland last week would provide "unprecedented verification" to monitor...
Iran, nuclear, deal, Obama, cheats, detected, verified, experts, disagree, administration
Monday, 06 April 2015 06:56 PM
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