The Iranian Military Sites in the Balance of the Nuclear Deal

https://rasanah-iiis.org/english/?p=3533

ByMohammed Alsulami

With every passing day, Iran proves that the international community has misplaced confidence in the nuclear deal. In response to the US requests to allow the international inspectors to access the Iranian nuclear facilities, the Iranian MP Mohammed Ibrahim Rizai said, “Iran will never allow the international community to inspect its nuclear facilities.”
Iran’s today history is linked to the international sanctions where Iran is given to elusiveness, deception, and play for time game. Indeed, the inspection process is very important to gather information about any suspicious activities like availability of a nuclear-weapons plant or developing nuclear weapons.
According to the nuclear deal, inspectors will have access to all suspicious sites related to the Iranian nuclear program without specifying the nature of these sites; military or civilian, which means that all Iranian sites are subject to inspection by the international teams. Iran says that its military posts were excluded from inspection and will not give inspectors access to these locations, but we bring to mind what happened in the Iranian Parchin military complex in 2015 and in the beginning of 2016 when some concerns were raised about some suspicious activities in this complex associated with nuclear weapons. Ukiah Amano, head of the IAEA visited the military complex personally, but much said that Iran had cleaned up all suspicious activities before inspectors took a first look, which was supported by some satellite imagery that portrayed some changes in the terrain inside Parchin complex before the visit. Definitely, the Iranian deception will continue, which means that there is a problem in the inspection process itself and the mechanism of access to the Iranian military posts.
In the past few days, the Iranian officials- Foreign Minister, Chief of the Iranian Nuclear Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, some MPs, and members of Foreign Affairs Committee- said that inspecting military posts is a red line for the regime and the Supreme Leader personally. Salehi also threatened that Iran was capable of increasing uranium enrichment up to 20% in five days only. Based on the Iranian officials’ statements, we come up with two conclusions: the first is that Iran is really working on developing its military nuclear program on military posts after the nuclear deal, betting on the international community lack of interest to inspect these locations. The second is that there was an unannounced agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group that allows Iran to stick to the minimum limit of the announced terms of the nuclear deal.
After the end of the Obama era, the new US administration was willing to interpret the deal literally and sought strict application of its terms, leading to another problem of putting the record straight concerning the terms Tehran violated- especially suspicious military posts and giving the international inspectors access to these sites.
Theoretically, the P5+1 group had to curb the Iranian nuclear program, but practically, the Obama administration had failed in the Middle East and in the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis, making it gamble on achieving one significant triumph, which was the nuclear deal. Russia and China took the Iranian side on many issues, while the three European countries, Britain, France, and Germany signed significant economic agreements with Tehran and received Iranian vows to open its market to the companies of these countries.
Since signing the nuclear deal, we have been warning of the difficulty to control the Iranian regime activities inside Iran. Definitely, the Iranian regime has prepared well to escape the control process and deceive the inspection teams, assisted by the huge size of the country, the numerous declared and undeclared military posts, and the use of the Iranian geography to hide its vital military sites. Whoever understands the Iranian regime mentality will recognize that it will deceive the international community. On the one hand, this regime uses the nuclear deal to take back its frozen assets and on the other, it will continue development of its nuclear program for military purposes away from inspection teams under the regime’s bureaucracy in getting the approval to visit any site or facility.
Overall, in case of strict implementation of the nuclear deal and tight control on the regime, Tehran will be caught red-handed, involved in developing nuclear weapons. A few months ago, when the US Department of State and the IAEA said that Iran was in compliance with the nuclear deal, they meant it was in compliance with the agreement concerning only the sites Tehran opened for the IAEA inspectors, but not all sites. In fact, this is a major failure alongside the deficiency in handling the Iranian ballistic missile program that the IAEA and the P5+1 group have to rectify before it is too late.
Translated Piece: Watan SA


Opinions in this article reflect the writer’s point of view, not necessarily the view of The Arabain GCIS

Mohammed Alsulami
Mohammed Alsulami
Head of Rasanah: International Institute for Iranian Studies