The implementation of that agreement in 2015 was to some extent dependent upon exclusion of certain controversial issues, such as access to Iranian military sites, where the regime may have carried out research and development related to weaponization aspects of the country’s nuclear program.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action side-stepped the issue of the International Atomic Energy Agency receiving access to military sites, which only occurs after a month-long process, giving the Islamic Republic time to erase evidence. An example is the Parchin military base, where the IAEA obtained soil samples that still showed the presence of some nuclear material, after satellite imagery showed the site being partially demolished and sanitized.
A recent report published by the International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ), the non-profit NGO in Brussels, drew upon public information and intelligence gathered by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), the main Iranian opposition group, who have a record of exposing information about the regime´s nuclear project.
Aside from this report, the Iranian regime’s repeated insistence that military sites are simply off limits to international inspectors should be enough to show the world that the JCPOA has possibly not halted Iran’s nuclear activities, yet world powers remain committed to preserving that agreement and argue that it is serving its purpose effectively.
President Trump has been silent about whether or not he plans to certify before Congress that Iran is complying with its obligations under the agreement. He is required to do on October 15th.
The ISJ report quotes one IAEA document, published just on the verge of the JCPOA’s implementation, as saying, “The Agency assesses that the extensive activities undertaken by Iran since February 2012 at the particular location of interest to the Agency seriously undermined the Agency’s ability to conduct effective verification.”
Despite this, the IAEA has repeatedly insisted that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal, but in so doing it has not only ignored the issue of what remains unknown about possible military dimensions, but it has also ignored confirmed, if minor, violations of the JCPOA’s limits on Iran’s stockpiles of nuclear materials and nuclear byproducts.
If Iran continues to refuse to cooperate with the international community, the nations of the world should cooperate among themselves to exert the pressure needed to ensure that the Iranian regime is no longer pursuing the capability to build weapons of mass destruction.