Khamene’i Advisor: IAEA Barred from Inspecting Iran’s Military Sites

Ali Akbar Velayati, senior foreign policy advisor to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ali Khamene’i — August 18, 2013. (Ebrahim Noroozi / AP)

As the Iranian state-run outlet PressTV reported on September 12, the Islamic Republic of Iran has barred the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from inspecting the country’s military and nuclear sites.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior foreign policy advisor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamene’i, flatly rejected an IAEA inspection request on Monday made as part of the implementation of the Obama administration’s 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. The declaration was made at a press conference in Vienna while Velayati spoke to reporters on Tuesday in response to earlier comments by IAEA Director General Amano Yukiya. Amano later responded that the Agency did not distinguish between civilian or military sites in its inspections, and would still request access when necessary.

“Velayati said previous agreements between Iran and the IAEA did not include any permission to visit Iran’s military sites, adding that Tehran would have never signed any agreement with the UN nuclear agency in case of such a request,” the PressTV report says.

“Mr. Amano, his agents and no other foreigners have the right to inspect our military sites, because these sites are among off-limit sites for any foreigner and those affiliated with them,” Velayati said.

The report continues:

The senior Iranian official further emphasized that the IAEA chief’s claim about the agency’s right to inspect Iran’s military sites was “his own fabrication,” adding that if Amano could make independent decisions, he would exert pressure on the Israeli regime in order to open its nuclear sites to inspection.

“The existence of nuclear weapons in the occupied territories is the biggest threat to the entire Middle East region,” Velayati pointed out.

The IAEA also on Monday once again confirmed that Iran had lived up to its commitments under the 2015 landmark nuclear agreement signed with the P5+1 group of countries, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the JCPOA are being implemented,” Amano said in his introductory statement to the Board of Governors.

He emphasized that the UN nuclear agency would continue to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement, adding, “Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran remain ongoing.”

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — China, England, France, Russia, and the United States, plus Germany — signed the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 with an implementation date of January 16, 2016.

Under the JCPOA — known in the United States as the “Iran deal” — Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear sanctions.

This is the same deal which Israeli Prime Minister Bin’yamin Netan’yahu came to Washington to denounce in a rousing speech on March 3, 2015: “…[T]his deal has two major concessions: one, leaving Iran with a vast nuclear program and two, lifting the restrictions on that program in about a decade. That’s why this deal is so bad. It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb; it paves Iran’s path to the bomb,” the defiant leader of the Jewish State declared to a packed Congress.

Two weeks before Velayati made his marks, on August 25, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley called upon the IAEA to vehemently request access to Iranian military sites. “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,” Haley said to reporters.

Iran has dismissed the request as an attempt to derail the nuclear agreement.

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