In a televised address, he said, “Our commitments to the world are clear… our relations with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Association) are defined by rules, not by the US.” He added that Iran was still committed to the nuclear agreement, but “we do not accept bullying.” Rouhani claimed, “I see it as unlikely that the IAEA will accept the request for inspections, but even if they do, we will not.”
Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, Iran’s government spokesman, told reporters that Ambassador Nikki Haley’s demand wasn’t worth any attention. Iran will not accept any inspection of its sites and “especially our military sites.” He said the sites and all information about them are “classified.”
Haley met with IAEA chief Yukiya Amano and discussed accessing Iranian military sites so Iran’s compliance with the 2015 JCPOA deal could be ensured.
International sanctions were eased under the landmark accord, in exchange for stringent controls on Iran’s nuclear program with close IAEA inspections. The inspections are designed to prevent nuclear material being moved from nuclear centers to other areas, including military bases. The IAEA continues to report that Iran is in compliance with the deal.
Rouhani said that US President Donald Trump would struggle to get support for tearing it up, as Iran has the support of Europe and other signatories, and added, “The US is in the most difficult situation in its history for creating unity against us and I think it’s not possible for it to do so now. Twenty-eight EU countries, which are America’s allies, clearly say we are committed to the JCPOA.”
French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed his commitment to the deal on Tuesday, and said there was “no alternative.”
Foreign policy adviser, Ali Akbar Velayati, called the reported demand for inspections as “sloganeering by the new US administration for domestic consumption.” He added, “The Americans should take the dream of visiting our military sites, using the pretext of the JCPOA or any other pretext, to their graves.”
However, the deal remains under threat, as the US has strongly criticized recent Iranian missile tests, and imposed new, non-nuclear sanctions.
Rouhani responded in mid-August by saying that Iran could easily walk away from the deal “within hours” if forced to do so.
Haley stated that new US sanctions against Iran relate to Iran’s support for “worldwide terrorism” and other destabilizing activites in the region, and said Tehran could not “use the nuclear deal to hold the world hostage.”