On eve of Iran deal, US retreats on inspections of nuclear past, speeds up sanctions relief
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday, June 28: “We are seeing a clear retreat from the red lines that the world powers set recently and publicly." Addressing the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem and later the Knesset, he added: “There is no reason to rush to sign this bad agreement which is getting worse every day.”
Netanyahu was referring to three major concessions approved by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry in the final stage of negotiations for a comprehensive nuclear accord with Iran.
They are outlined here by debkafile:
1. After barring International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of suspect sites for years, Tehran will now be allowed to submit a paper with answers to queries about its past clandestine activities at those military sites, such as suspected tests of nuclear bomb detonators and explosives. That document would effectively draw a line on Iran’s suspect past
debkafile: Iran has submitted countless documents to the IAEA, none of which gave specific replies to specific questions. The UN Security Council accordingly passed a number of resolutions requiring Tehran to come clean on the military aspects of its nuclear program. Tehran ignored them. Now Obama and Kerry are letting Tehran off the hook on its past secrets.
2. Obama and Kerry have withdrawn the “any time, anywhere” stipulation for snap inspections of suspect nuclear facilities, as mandated by the Additional Protocol signed by Iran. They now agree that international monitors must first submit a request to an “Iranian Committee” (not even a joint US-Iranian committee) for advance permission to inspect nuclear facilities.
This would leave Tehran free to approve, deny, or delay permission for inspections.
3. Washington has backed down on its insistence on predicating sanctions relief on Iran’s compliance with its obligations under the final accord. After Tehran countered with a demand for the sanctions to be lifted immediately upon the signing of the accord, the Obama administration agreed to remove them in three stages:
a) Straight after the deal is signed.
b) After ratification of the accord by the US Congress and Iranian Majlis.
This process is expected to take place by the end of 2015, and so Iran will win two multibillion windfalls this year without being required to meet any obligations beyond its signature
Obama counts on the support of 34 US senators. In any case, Congress is not empowered to reject or delay the deal
c) All remaining sanctions will be lifted when implementation of the accord begins.
Nothing is therefore left of the original US pledges to link sanctions relief to Iran’s compliance with its commitments or President Obama’s solemn vow to “snap back” sanctions any time for any Iranian violations. The IAEA is virtually left without teeth.