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Thread: Iran deal could stumble on sensitive nuclear monitoring

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    Iran deal could stumble on sensitive nuclear monitoring

    Iran deal could stumble on sensitive nuclear monitoring

    Reuters
    Fri Apr 10, 2015

    Beefing up international monitoring of Iran's nuclear work could become the biggest stumbling block to a final accord between Tehran and major powers, despite a preliminary deal reached last week. As part of that deal, Iran and the powers agreed that United Nations inspectors would have "enhanced" access to remaining nuclear activity in Iran, where they already monitor key sites. But details on exactly what kind of access the inspectors will have were left for the final stage of talks, posing a major challenge for negotiators on a complex and logistically challenging issue that is highly delicate for Iran's leaders.

    Securing proper inspections is crucial for the United States and other Western powers to ensure a final deal, due by June 30, is effective and to persuade a skeptical U.S. Congress and Israel to accept the agreement. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful, but it has never welcomed intrusive inspections and has in the past kept some nuclear sites secret. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say for Iran on the deal, on Thursday ruled out any "extraordinary supervision measures" over nuclear activities and said military sites could not be inspected.

    David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, said it was crucial to come up with a mechanism for "anytime, anywhere" inspections that go beyond the IAEA's own special arrangements for short-notice inspections, known as the Additional Protocol. "It’s extremely difficult for Iran," said Albright, himself a former U.N. weapons inspector. "They don’t want it. They want to keep smuggling (nuclear materials). They’re buying a lot of things, and they’re not going to want to stop."

    Iran signed the Additional Protocol in 2003, a year after the existence of its Natanz enrichment site and Arak heavy-water production facility was revealed. Tehran began voluntarily implementing the protocol but never ratified it. It eventually stopped implementing it.

    But Olli Heinonen, the IAEA's former chief nuclear inspector who is now at Harvard University, said Additional Protocol inspections would likely not be enough for proper monitoring. The Additional Protocol has limitations, experts say, such as not covering research by Iran that the IAEA is investigating and which Western countries believe was linked to weaponization.

    Jacqueline Shire, a non-proliferation expert and former member of the U.N. Security Council's Panel of Experts on Iran, said resolving questions about the so-called "possible military dimensions" of Iran's past nuclear activities was crucial but extremely difficult. "Iran will have to engage with the IAEA on this in a way it has not, up to this point, been willing to," she said.

    Heinonen, Albright and Shire said that failure to address the possible military dimensions could undermine confidence in any monitoring and inspection regime. "If you leave PMD unresolved, then there could be many unknowns," Heinonen said.
    Because Iran has previously been in NPT/IAEA non-compliance on a number of issues at different times, an extraordinarily intrusive inspection regimen is necessary to ensure that Iran has no opportunity to deceive. IMHO, any IAEA oversight/inspection mandate must include:

    • Documentation/data on all research activity related to Iran's nuclear program


    • Chain-of-Custody documentation from import or domestic ore-mine to enrichment to reactor to the reprocessing of spent fuel


    • A comprehensive inventory of all material(s) enriched beyond the parameter and/or diluted enriched material(s)


    • Snap inspections and sampling (nuclear-program related) anytime and anywhere


    • An accounting of all foreign nuclear-related assistance


    • A real-time inventory of all nuclear program equipment and documentation of their origin(s)


    • All documentation/data related to nuclear warhead design(s) and missile mating


    • All documents/data related to Possible Military Dimensions


    • The ability to follow-up on PMD information with snap inspections of any compromised military owned/managed facilities

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    Re: Iran deal could stumble on sensitive nuclear monitoring

    The possibility that Iran would not meet their obligations has always been a recognised (strong) possibility. Though it's been stressed repeatedly that a peaceful and diplomatic solution is worth the effort, the other option that so many are frothing at mouth to pursue, remains.
    Killing one person is murder, killing 100,000 is foreign policy

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    Re: Iran deal could stumble on sensitive nuclear monitoring

    Quote Originally Posted by Montecresto View Post
    The possibility that Iran would not meet their obligations has always been a recognised (strong) possibility. Though it's been stressed repeatedly that a peaceful and diplomatic solution is worth the effort, the other option that so many are frothing at mouth to pursue, remains.
    Are you addressing the frothy American conservative hardliners, or the frothy Iranian conservative hardliners?
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    Re: Iran deal could stumble on sensitive nuclear monitoring

    32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
    Matt. 10:32-33

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    Re: Iran deal could stumble on sensitive nuclear monitoring


    Because nothing says trust me peace partner like Death to America.

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