Carmon and Savyon said, “By raising these two issues they are diverting attention from the main, critical problem in the agreement which does require immediate attention: its lack of real inspection.”

The two Middle East analysts say that the major flaw of the nuclear agreement between six world powers and Iran, that was reached two years ago, was that it failed to include a meaningful inspections mechanism, which is a matter mostly ignored by both the proponents and opponents of the deal.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is tasked with inspections, and but the inspection are subject to substantial Iranian influence.

As Carmon and Savyon noted, “It should be clarified that when Iran, the IAEA, and the heads of the parties to the JCPOA reiterate that there is robust, intrusive, and unprecedented inspection, they are perpetuating the false depiction of the section of the JCPOA concerning inspection. This is because the inspection procedure takes place only at sites where Iran has agreed to allow inspection, that is, sites Iran itself has declared as nuclear sites, but not at any other sites in Iran, including military sites. The Obama administration and the countries party to the JCPOA designed the JCPOA in a way that on the one hand they can claim that a robust inspection is being applied while on the other hand they allowed Iran to evade inspection in all other sites.”

Iran agreed to inspections, but only under an Additional Protocol to the agreement, and Carmon and Savyon point out, “Iran’s agreement to accept the Additional Protocol was voluntary, and it can exit it at any time without this being considered a violation of the JCPOA.”

They say that this has compromised the IAEA’s ability to effectively police Iranian compliance with the deal. They cite a series of examples:
– The IAEA’s authority has been undercut by the establishment of a political forum that will assess Iranian compliance;
– Samples from the Parchin nuclear site were given to the IAEA by the Iranians, making authentication impossible;
– Iran’s refusal to allow questioning of its nuclear scientists was not challenged;
– Oversight of 8.5 tons of Iran’s uranium was handed over to Iranian ally Russia;
– Iran’s heavy water has been stored in Oman, which is a “political satellite” of the Islamic Republic;
– When given Israeli intelligence on possible violations, the IAEA declined to investigate further.

Carmon and Savyon recommend “robust oversight” to address these issues.

The Trump administration said that it would “not accept a weakly enforced or inadequately monitored deal.” According to Carmon and Savyon, this was “not a demand for a change in the JCPOA, nor does it mean an exit from it, but rather it is based on acceptance of the agreement and on the insistence that it be rigorously enforced as it stands.”