Iran, faced with the news that the US held a meeting with the chief of the UN nuclear watchdog who insisted that inspections of military sites in Iran are carried out, retaliated by denying access.
Haley said that Iran’s refusal will put future compliance with the nuclear deal in jeopardy.
The IAEA, despite confirming that Iran has been compliant with the deal, has rejected Iran’s claims that the country’s military sites are off-limits.
President Trump is obliged as per the terms of the deal to provide Congress with a report every 90 days stating whether Iran is compliant or not. In July, Trump apparently hesitantly, granted Iran compliance.
The next report to Congress is due in the middle of October. If he grants compliance, the situation will remain the same. If he were to grant non-compliance, strong evidence and documentation will be needed, and good argumentation to convince the other parties of the deal.
It has been speculated that this was the purpose of Haley’s meeting with IAEA officials because the Trump administration needs to be certain that it is overseeing the nuclear program in the way it should.
Since the deal was signed, the IAEA has issued seven reports confirming compliance. In two of the reports, Iran was exceeding heavy water limits. Tehran immediately acted and sent the excess to Oman, prompting analysts to point out that Iran is desperate to keep the deal in place.
The United States needs to be certain that the IAEA does not produce a report with contradictory information otherwise it will make Trump look like his actions are politically-motivated. However, this does not mean that Trump should continue to grant compliance.
Many concessions were given to Iran by Trump’s predecessor. The Obama administration failed to address the military aspect of Iran’s nuclear program. Concerns were never resolved, but sanctions were lifted anyway.
One major failing of the deal is that Iran is permitted time to destroy evidence of wrongdoing because the IAEA has to give Iran notice for inspections and has to provide details about what it will be looking at. This is completely illogical.
Haley described her recent meeting with the IAEA as constructive. So now we need to see what will happen when Iran’s compliance is renewed in October. Or not.