Sputnik News: Tehran has refused to give the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to their military sites to inspect for nuclear weapons, citing national security concerns. The United States has led the charge to allow international inspectors into Iranian military bases.
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley in a speech on Friday proclaimed that the Iranian refusal was a violation of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“They have a very strong verification program in Iran, I was pleased to hear about all that they are doing. Having said that, as good as the IAEA is, it can only be as good as what they are permitted to see. Iran has publicly declared that it will not allow access to military sites, but the JCPOA makes no distinction between military and non-military sites,” said Haley.
“There are also numerous undeclared sites that have not been inspected yet — that’s a problem. I have good confidence in the IAEA, but they are dealing with a country that has a clear history of lying and pursuing covert nuclear programs.”
Brian Becker, host of Sputnik Radio’s Loud and Clear, discussed Haley’s comments with his guests Massoud Shadjareh, founder of London-based nonprofit Islamic Human Rights Commission; and Dan Kovalik, a human rights lawyer who teaches at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
Becker said that it seemed to him that the US was trying to “conjure up” evidence that Iran was in violation of the JCPOA, with which both of his guests agreed. “The international community are extremely happy with the deal,” said Shadjareh. “And indeed this deal was supposed to be win-win for all sides. Iran has complied with every aspect of the agreement, and this has been verified by the whole international community. The US is just trying to find [trumped-up] intelligence like they did with Iraq.”
“After the lie of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,” added Kovalik, “and the destruction that’s followed the invasion of Iraq, the US [has] already lost credibility on these sorts of matters, which they used to justify war. No one seriously disputes that Iran has fully complied with the Iran nuclear deal. At the same time, Iran has never gotten the benefit that it bargained for in that deal: the original sanctions against Iran that were supposed to be lifted in response to the deal have never been lifted. Meanwhile the US just recently imposed new sanctions.”
Becker then asked if the Americans were attempting to finish the JCPOA intentionally or unintentionally. “This seems to be either a total ignorance of what is happening on the grassroots of Iran, or indeed there is a deliberate attempt to actually destroy any possibility of any sort of agreement … Iran hasn’t got anything out of this deal, their monies are still frozen, they have no access to international banking,” replied Shadjareh.
“I actually think that what we are seeing is an element within the United States government trying to engineer a conflict that would lead to possibly even military conflict. The reality is that a military conflict is not going to serve anyone.The policy that is being pursued by Trump and his cronies, if anything, is going to actually strengthen the Iranian government among its own people and in the eyes of the international community.”