Iran takes a selfie and the IAEA calls it an inspection

September 27, 2015

The Iran nuclear “deal” agreed in July established a “road map” by which Iran would provide assurances it was not building nuclear weapons in return for international sanctions being lifted. One of the assurances required Iran to provide “clarification” of outstanding issues related to its nuclear (weapons) program by October 15.  The documents Iran has supplied haven’t entirely satisified the IAEA and there are to be follow-up discussions “to remove ambiguities”.

In addition, Iran was to provide specific assurances regarding its military facility at Parchin where it was suspected of having constructed a large explosives containment chamber in which to conduct hydrodynamic experiments. As the IAEA noted, “Such experiments would be strong indicators of possible nuclear weapon development”. Controversially, the IAEA and Iran concluded a separate confidential agreement on how IAEA inspections would be conducted at Parchin. We can now surmise what the terms were, based on what IAEA Director General Amano reported on September 21. He and his deputy alone were allowed to enter “the main building of interest … They saw indications of recent renovation. There was no equipment in the building.” Okay, then. Also, “the Iranian side played a part in the sample-taking process by swiping samples. The Agency can confirm the integrity of the sampling process and the authenticity of the samples.” Sure.

As the Wall Steet Journal observed: “Gone are the kind of intrusive inspections that even Saddam Hussein had to tolerate until he kicked out inspectors. This is now the era of the selfie-inspection, when rogue regimes provide their own samples, and inspectors-at-a-distance announce their gratitude for the cooperation.”

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