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Iran Press TV

US senators write to Haley to push for inspection of Iran military sites

Iran Press TV

Sat Oct 28, 2017 08:53AM

Republican senators are urging the Trump administration to vigorously push for tougher inspections of Iranian sites, including military facilities, and better reporting by the United Nations atomic watchdog about the implementation of the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Thirteen Senate Republicans have written a letter to the UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, calling on her to address what they described as under-reporting about Iran's nuclear program and a weak inspections regime.

Georgia Senator David Perdue's official website has published the text of the letter, in which he and his colleagues question why the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) does not have full access to all sites in Iran.

The lawmakers argued that former President Barack Obama had promised that the IAEA "inspectors will also be able to access any suspicious location" as part of the multinational nuclear accord known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

"In practice, it appears that this is not the case," wrote the senators, citing Iranian officials who insist the country's military sites are "off limits."

"We believe that without visits to military sites, the IAEA cannot make a credible conclusion that Iran is meeting its Section T obligations," the lawmakers wrote to Haley. "We encourage you to continue to stress this point of view to the signatories of the deal, as well as to the IAEA."

Haley has been pushing the IAEA to inspect Iran's military sites, a demand Tehran regards as an attempt to undermine the JCPOA.

"We are encouraging the IAEA to use all the authorities they have and to pursue every angle possible with the JCPOA, and we will continue to support the IAEA in that process," the ambassador told reporters at the UN headquarters in August.

In response, an IAEA official said at the time that the agency was not going to inspect Iran's military sites to score political points.

"We're not going to visit a military site like Parchin just to send a political signal," an unnamed IAEA official was quoted by Reuters as saying, referring to a military complex located 30 kilometers from the capital.

The IAEA is tasked with monitoring Iran's compliance with the landmark deal. The agency has consistently verified that Iran is in compliance since the agreement started being implemented in January 2016.

President Trump refused to certify the JCPOA earlier in October, setting off a 60-day period during which Congress will decide whether to restore sanctions which were lifted under the nuclear deal.

Trump also warned that if Congress and European allies cannot fix the deal, he would withdraw the US from it.

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