Israel Demands Publication of All Secret Agreements With Iran

Follows AP report, denied by UN atomic energy agency, that Iranians would control inspections at alleged military nuclear site.

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IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano speaking to the press at a Vienna airport Tuesday upon his arrival from Tehran following talks with authorities about Iran’s uranium enrichment program.
IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano speaking to the press at a Vienna airport Tuesday upon his arrival from Tehran following talks with authorities about Iran’s uranium enrichment program. Credit: AFP
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Israel demanded on Thursday that the world powers that negotiated the nuclear agreement with Iran and the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) publish all the secret agreements with Iran, along with their appendices, regarding the investigation into possible military dimensions of its nuclear program.

The Israeli demand followed the Associated Press’ report on Wednesday of a draft agreement between the IAEA and Iran regarding the inspection at the Parchin military site, where the Iranians are allegedly conducting experiments to build a nuclear weapon.

Under the draft agreement, Iranian officials would inspect the site without any intervention by UN inspectors, who would be physically barred from the site. The Iranians will collect soil and air samples in certain parts of the site and hand only seven of them to the UN inspectors, as well as video clips and photographs of part of the facility. The UN inspectors would be able to collect additional samples themselves, but only from outside the site.

However, a few hours after AP released the draft agreement details, a revised report emerged from the news agency overwriting some of the more troubling issues regarding the inspection of Parchin.

For instance, the new report omitted the part that said Iranian scientists would inspect the air and soil samples at Parchin themselves, rather than UN inspectors. It also omitted the point that the number of air and soil samples taken from within suspected nuclear sites would be limited to seven.

The Parchin military complex. Credit: AP

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano issued a statement Thursday rejecting AP’s report from the day before. “Such statements [that the IAEA has given the responsibility for nuclear inspection to Iran] misrepresent the way in which we will undertake this important verification work,” he said.

“The arrangements are technically sound and consistent with our long established practices. They do not compromise our safeguard standards in any way,” Amano said in the statement.

Amano said he was not able to discuss the details of the agreement with Iran as he was legally bound to confidentiality. He said, however, that “the Road-map between Iran and the IAEA is a very robust agreement, with strict timelines, which will help us to clarify past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program.”

Senior officials in Jerusalem said that only publishing all the details would clarify the doubts that have arisen regarding the UN inspection’s effectivity and reliability following AP’s expose and Amano’s denials.

“We’ve seen Amano’s denial, but there’s only one certain way to clarify things – the world powers and IAEA must release all the secret appendices to the nuclear agreement with Iran,” an official said.

National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee several weeks ago that the powers refuse to brief Israel fully on the agreements between the IAEA and Iran.

“The more we learn of the agreement the more we see that our concerns are justified,” an Israeli official said Thursday.

Under the road map agreement Iran reached with the UN nuclear watchdog alongside the political deal, Iran is required to give the IAEA enough information about its past nuclear program to allow it to write a report on the issue by year’s end. 

Without IAEA confirmation that Iran is keeping its promises enshrined in a landmark nuclear deal that Tehran reached with world powers on July 14, the Islamic Republic will not be granted much-needed sanctions relief. 

The inspection of the Parchin site was one of the central issues underlining the IAEA’s investigation into allegations that Iran was running a nuclear weapons program at the facility.

Completing the IAEA’s investigation was one of the conditions set in the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers for lifting the sanctions imposed on Iran.

AP’s report on Wednesday said the six powers were not party to the draft agreement and its details were not disclosed to them. The powers received only a general briefing on the matter from IAEA chief Yukiya Amano, who also briefed a number of U.S. senators on the matter, but would not reveal details of the deal with Iran, the report said.

Following discussion Thursday on social media that questioned the reliability of AP’s initial report, the news agency updated it once again and reinstated the omitted paragraphs. The agency said the omission had been an editing error, stemming from one of its editors’ unsuccessful update of the original story.

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