The draft interim accord which the Six Powers put before Iran in Geneva last week was as conspicuous for its omissions as its content. At least nine glaring loopholes for an Iranian double-cross built into the text are listed here exclusively by DEBKA Weekly’s intelligence sources.
1. Parchin: Tehran is not required to account for its failure to answer detailed questions put by the nuclear watchdog – the International Atomic Energy Agency – or permit access to its inspectors to the Parchin military base outside the capital, where explosives are suspected to have been clandestinely tested for use in a nuclear bomb.
Iran could keep those tests running and persist in preventing IAEA visits without being deemed in breach of the new interim accord with the international community.
2. Secret nuclear locations: Under the heading "Possible Military Dimensions," the last IAEA report noted: "Since 2002, the Agency has become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related organizations, including activities related to the development of a payload for a missile.”
The watchdog has received information indicating activities "relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device." This was further corroborated by new information obtained since November 2011.
What about Iran’s stockpile of dirty bombs?
Yet the new interim accord drafted for Geneva neglects to furnish the IAEA with the tools or grant its inspectors access for uncovering covert Iranian facilities, especially those employed in undercover uranium enrichment. Therefore, calculations of the distance remaining to breakout can only rely on the known enrichment sites at Natanz and Fordo and therefore depend on deficient data.
3. Billions of dollars for non-compliance: Iran has not complied with its legal obligations under previous accords or Security Council resolutions on its nuclear program and was caught in efforts at concealment. Yet a measure of sanctions relief amounting to several billions of dollars is on offer under the accord.
4. Dirty bombs: The accord makes no demand for a freeze on the production of dirty bombs, although Iran is known to have been working for decades on perfecting this weapon of mass destruction as part of its nuclear program. Enough nuclear material has been amassed in Iran to make hundreds of dirty bombs by adding plutonium or enriched uranium to conventional bombs. These weapons are easy to make andwould be easy to use for coordinated explosions in big Western cities without leaving clues to their perpetrators.
5. Moratorium? President Barack Obama said at a press conference, the goal of “this short-term, phase-one deal” is to be “absolutely certain that while we’re talking with the Iranians, they’re not busy advancing their program – and if possible roll it back.”
No such guarantee is mandated in the draft interim deal.
The six-month interim allows Iran to enhance its bomb capacity
6. Stronger measures. To meet President Obama’s declared objective, the phase-one accord discussed in Geneva must include strong punitive measures for violations in fields of enrichment, construction of the heavy water reactor at Arak and advances in nuclear weapons design.
Such measures are not in the text.
7. Enrichment and centrifuges: The interim agreement is short of provisions to ensure the Iranians are not using the negotiations as space for advancing their nuclear program. To achieve this, mechanisms are needed to verifiably enforce a halt in all enrichment activities and the manufacture of additional centrifuges. To this end Iran must sign the Additional Protocol of the NPT and pledge to notify the IAEA of any enrichment or other nuclear activity, including construction of new facilities.
DEBKA Weekly: Iran has categorically rejected all these requirements and the six powers show no inclination to hold out for their integration in the final text of the accord.
8. No constraints. Iran is not required under the draft interim agreement to suspend enrichment of uranium to 3.5 percent. Neither are restraints placed on its continued manufacture of centrifuges.
9. A leap to breakout: By the end of the six-month period covered by the interim accord, Iran will have expanded its current stockpile of uranium enriched to 3.5 percent as well as its supply of centrifuges. It will have by then enhanced its capacity for producing enough weapons-grade uranium for a bomb at a speed that defies detection by the IAEA or Western intelligence until it is too late.
Iran therefore stands to gain from the accord negotiated with the six powers in Geneva, whether or not it is signed during this round by Saturday or the haggling continues at a future date.