The Supreme Leader’s top aide, Ali Akbar Velayati, has pushed back the claim of the International Atomic Energy Agency that it can inspect military sites under the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the 5+1 Powers.
Velayati (pictured) responded sharply on Tuesday to a statement by IAEA Secretary-General Yukiya Amano, made the previous day, that the IAEA is not distinguishing between civilian and military sites in determining whether an inspection is necessary.
The Iranian official chided:
In the previous agreements with the agency (IAEA) there was no talk of access to military sites at all; and if it were so, we wouldn’t have come to an agreement….
Mr. Amano, his agents and no other foreigners have the right to inspect our military sites, because these sites are among off-limit sites for any foreigner and those affiliated with them.
Velayati insisted that Amano’s claim about the IAEA’s right to inspection is “his own fabrication”. He argued that Amano is not independent, saying that otherwise the Secretary-General would ask Israel to open its nuclear sites to inspection.
To date, the IAEA has not requested access to an Iranian military site, as there is no evidence indicating of a violation of the nuclear deal in those locations. The agency has repeatedly verified Iranian compliance with the deal.
But the US is pressing the IAEA to seek access, as part of the Trump Administration’s attempt to put more pressure on Iran. In late August, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley travelled to IAEA headquarters in Vienna to press Washington’s case.