Iran must allow IAEA to inspect suspicious sites - ex-IAEA official (Exclusive)

Iran must allow IAEA to inspect suspicious sites - ex-IAEA official (Exclusive)

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 28

By Emil Ilgar – Trend:

Iran should allow the IAEA to inspect all its suspicious sites, including military fields, Former Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Olli Heinonen told Trend July 28.

"The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which Iran is a party to, requires countries to accept inspections by the IAEA. The NPT requires a state to accept safeguards on all nuclear materials in all peaceful activities with its territory for the exclusive purpose that such material is not diverted to nuclear weapon or other explosive nuclear devices," Heinonen said.

Heinonen who is now a senior advisor on science and nonproliferation at Foundation for Defense of Democracies added that therefore, all the territory of a state is subject to the verification regime, and military sites do not form sanctuaries.

Previously, the US House of Representatives and the Senate passed a bill during this week against Iran, aimed to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

The US charges Iran in interfering in regional countries, supporting some military groups in the region like Houthis, Hezbollah, etc as well as developing a ballistic missile program.

Associated Press reported citing official US sources on July 27 that the Donald Trump administration is pushing for inspections of suspicious Iranian military sites in a bid to test the strength of the nuclear deal.

Heinonen said that it goes without saying that to protect confidential information special procedures can be agreed for inspections at military sites.

However, the agreed procedures have to be implemented in such a way that the IAEA can draw its conclusions independently, he said.

"We need to keep in mind that it is not just the right of the IAEA to verify that the state declarations with regard to nuclear material are correct and complete, but it is also an obligation for the IAEA to verify the statements made by a state. In addition, JCPOA contains additional verification requirements with regards to some activities related to nuclear weapons development. Confirming the absence of such activities, together with open questions remaining from the Possible Military Dimension investigations, and reasons for the existence of man-made uranium particles at Parchin requires that the IAEA has also access to military sites in Iran," he explained.

Parchin military base, located near the capital city of Tehran, is where the UN body suspected Iran has conducted nuclear-related tests more than a decade ago.

Iran has denied doing any nuclear activity at Parchin.

Heinonen said that "let us now see how this develops, but in my view, Iran will be ill-advised, if it doesn't not permit the IAEA to conduct restrictions-free inspections that are required under the NPT safeguards agreement, Additional Protocol, and the JCPOA".

Iran and P5+1 Group, including US, Uk, France, Russia, China plus Germany reached a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran in 2015, which was implemented in January 2016.

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