NYTimes: Access to scientists and sites may stall Iran nuclear talks

It is the third such effort by the UN agency since 2007 to come up with a plan to inspect what it calls the “possible military dimensions” of the Iranian regime’s nuclear program.

“Over the next few days, the fate of the biggest diplomatic gamble of the Obama presidency may hinge on the freedom of Mr. Amano’s small, overburdened teams of inspectors to investigate evidence about past activity and pursue any suspicions — including those about activities on military bases — as questions come up”, according to the Times.

The Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, , has said repeatedly, as recently as last week, that allowing foreigners to question his nation’s scientists and visit military sites is off limits.

The New York Times report adds: Getting around the supreme leader’s apparent ban on inspections of military facilities will be tricky. One of the Iranian negotiators here, Deputy Foreign Minister Majid Ravanchi, told the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on Tuesday “We will not allow anybody to enter the military complexes,” because the document governing intrusive inspections by the I.A.E.A., called the Additional Protocol, “isn’t about letting inspectors visit and have a free hand in wherever they want to go, whatever they want to do, and talking about whoever they want to talk to.”

“In the final push for a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran, accounting for the accomplishments of Mr. Fakhrizadeh and his team of university scientists, missile engineers and military officers is emerging as one of the last and most formidable obstacles — perhaps even greater than the question of whether inspectors will be able, on short notice, to step into any place they suspect might conceal bomb-related work.”

In November 2004, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed in a press conference in Paris the identity of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the point man of the regime’s clandestine nuclear program who had been kept secret until then. The IAEA has been insisting to interview Fakhrizadeh for the past few years, but the Iranian regime has not provided access.

In July 2011, the NCRI revealed that the structure of the organization in charge of pursuing the nuclear weapons under the supervision of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh had changed and the new operation was called Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND). The IAEA confirmed this in its November 2011 report.