U.S., Despite Dropping Nuclear Deal, Still Wants UN Inspections In Iran

U.S., Despite Dropping Nuclear Deal, Still Wants UN Inspections In Iran
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Washington: The White House wants UN inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites to continue, despite President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 agreement that authorized those inspections, U.S. officials have said.
Days after Trump walked away from the deal and its mandate for rigorous scrutiny of Iranian facilities, senior administration officials said on May 10 that he wants monitoring to continue and will provide the UN nuclear watchdog agency with the money needed to maintain its team of inspectors in Iran.
“The United States will continue to support robust implementation of IAEA inspections in Iran to the full extent of the IAEA’s authority,” an official at the U.S. mission to the International Atomic Energy Association in Vienna told the German news agency dpa.
Known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal between Tehran and major world powers forced Iran to open any site to inspectors within 24 days. The pact also instituted 24-hour remote surveillance at some Iranian sites, among other first-ever inspection regimes.
European countries that support the agreement, in seeking to persuade Trump not to abandon the deal, often argued that it provides “the world’s most robust” nuclear-monitoring regimen.
But Trump and his deputies repeatedly insisted that the inspections authorized in the agreement were not tough enough. They noted, for example, that top Iranian officials have insisted that UN inspectors will never be allowed access to their most sensitive military sites.
“The Americans will take their dream of visiting our military and sensitive sites to their graves…. It will never happen,” Ali Akbar Velayati, an adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in September.
Trump repeated the U.S. demand for tougher inspections on May 10.
“We must be able to go to a site and check that site. We have to be able to go into their military bases to see whether or not they’re cheating,” Trump said at a rally in Indiana. In deciding to withdraw from the deal, Trump spurned repeated assurances from the UN watchdog that it has received access from Iran to all the facilities it has sought to inspect, and found those sights free of the uranium enrichment and other kinds of nuclear activity prohibited under the agreement in exchange for sanctions relief.