Report: Iran Strikes Secret Side Deal With IAEA to Address Possible Military Nature of Nuclear Program
Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency struck a confidential side agreement to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to address concerns of the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program, the Wall Street Journal reported.
According to the report, the IAEA and its Director Yukiya Amano are under immense pressure by the international community to wrap up these military concerns by the end of the year, when a report by inspectors is meant to prove Iranian compliance and prompt the lifting of sanctions against Iran.
But U.S. lawmakers are up in arms over provisions of this secret agreement that seem to allow Iran to take control of certain parts of the investigation, including soil samples at the Parchin military site.
“If that is true, it would be the equivalent of the fox guarding the chicken coop,” Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) told Obama administration officials at a hearing last week over the nuclear agreement struck between Iran and world powers in Vienna on July 14.
Also irking some U.S. intelligence officials and lawmakers, who could derail the Iran deal by achieving a two-thirds congressional majority to override a presidential veto to push the Iran deal through, is the White House’s assertion that getting Iran to admit that it had a nuclear weapons program is not germane to the success of the Vienna deal.
“An Iranian admission of its past nuclear weapons program is unlikely and is not necessary for purposes of verifying commitments going forward,” said a White House document obtained by the WSJ.