by WorldTribune Staff, October 2, 2017
A move by Russia to block inspectors from verifying a key section of the Iran nuclear deal could ultimately sway U.S. President Donald Trump toward decertifying the deal this month.
The Russians are blocking the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from verifying Section T of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley indicated last week.
Section T of the JCPOA prohibits activities related to the “design and development” of a nuclear weapon.
Trump must choose whether to certify the deal by Oct. 15.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told Reuters that the agency’s “tools are limited,” regarding verification of section T. Amano said that the Russians don’t believe the IAEA has a mandate for that particular section of the JCPOA.
In response to Amano’s admission, Haley, while not referring to Russia by name, said that for the deal to have meaning, “the parties must have a common understanding of its terms.”
“Now it appears that some countries are attempting to shield Iran from even more inspections. Without inspections, the Iran deal is an empty promise,” Haley said.
David Albright, founder and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, told Fox News that Russia’s not wanting to let the IAEA verify section T could be problematic.
“Amano basically said that the IAEA is not implementing the verification of section T and is unsure how to proceed. He wants guidance from the Joint Commission,” Albright said. “However, Russia has said it does not want the IAEA to verify section T. If it sticks to that position in the Joint Commission and blocks instructions to the IAEA to proceed with verifying Section T, and the IAEA does not act on its own to verify Section T or find a work around, then the verification of the JCPOA is incomplete and the deal is not fully implemented.”
Omri Ceren, a Middle East analyst and critic of the Iran deal, said the IAEA’s inability to verify section T should make the president’s decision on certification simple.
“There’s no wiggle room here. The law requires the president to tell Congress yes or no, do we know if Iran has ‘fully implemented’ the deal? The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog just said they don’t know if Iran has implemented the section of the deal about nuclear weapons’ work, because Iran won’t let them into military bases where that work is likely to occur. Advocates of the Iran deal are saying the president should certify anyway. They’re asking him to lie to Congress on behalf of the deal.”