The time for the Senate to vote on ratification of the Iran nuclear agreement is imminent. It appears that what had been termed in 2009 at the onset of the Obama White House as the “most transparent administration” in the history of the country is keeping two key parts of the deal from Congress and from the American people? That appears to be the word Friday from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
It has been divulged there are two “side deals” between the IAEA and Iran that the P5+1 negotiators are not aware of, or have simply ignored. These so-called “side deals” with Iran involve inspecting a military site long suspected of carrying out nuclear and ballistic missile research and development.
Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) had a Friday meeting in Vienna with the IAEA. At the meeting, the agency told the lawmakers that two side deals made between Iran and the IAEA as part of the P5+1 deal will remain secret. It will not be shared information with any other nations, with Congress or the public at large.
One of the agreements is the ongoing inspection of the Parchin military complex. The second is details how the IAEA and Iran will resolve non-negotiated issues on possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program. Both of which are vital to an overall agreement that has lasting relevance.
Parchin is a vital part of the Iranian nuclear program. It has been long assumed by nuclear experts that it contains the capability for both long-range ballistic missile and nuclear weapons development.
As far back as 2011, the IAEA suspected that this specific facility was being used to conduct high-explosive experiments. It has been an effort, in part, to build nuclear weapons that can reach both Israel and the United States.
Neither of these “side deals” will be inspected by any organization other than Iran and the IAEA. Those left out include other nations that negotiated the JCPOA. In other words, the secret arrangements will not been released for public scrutiny. It has not been submitted to Congress as part of its legislatively mandated review of the Iran deal. It fact, any violations will only be known by the IAEA.
Rep Pompeo was quick to reply. “This agreement is the worst of backroom deals. In addition to allowing Iran to keep its nuclear program, missile program, American hostages, and terrorist network, the Obama administration has failed to make public separate side deals that have been struck for the ‘inspection’ of one of the most important nuclear sites—the Parchin military complex.”
Senator Cotton added, “In failing to secure the disclosure of these secret side deals, the Obama administration is asking Congress and the American people to trust, but not verify.