The State Department says that “in no way” did the UN atomic watchdog agree to let Iran inspect its own nuclear facilities, rejecting revelations of a secret side deal between the Islamic Republic and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday on a previously undisclosed side deal between Iran and the IAEA that would allow Tehran to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms at least a decade ago. The IAEA wishes to investigate the site in order to learn more about Iran’s past activities there.
State Department spokesman John Kirby dismissed the report, saying in “no way” would the UN nuclear agency cede its oversight to Iran. “That is not how the IAEA does business,” Kirby said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Responding to the report on the side deal, Olli Heinonen, in charge of the Iran investigation as IAEA deputy director general from 2005 through 2010, told AP on Wednesday he could think of no similar arrangement — a country essentially allowed to carry out much of the probe of suspicions against it.
The report, based on a document seen by the AP, newly riled Republican lawmakers who have been severely critical of the broader agreement to limit Iran’s future nuclear programs, signed by the Obama administration, Iran and five world powers in July. Read more at Times of Israel.