Diplomacy

France Insists Iran Nuke Deal Include Inspections of Military Sites

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that any nuclear deal with Iran must allow for inspections of all sites, “including military sites,” that inspectors suspect may be used or have been used for nuclear purposes, The Hill reported today.

“France will not accept (a deal) if it is not clear that inspections can be done at all Iranian installations, including military sites,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told the French Parliament on Wednesday, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Fabius added that France still supported working toward a pact, but only one that ensures Iran cannot develop nuclear weapons.

“’Yes’ to an agreement, but not to an agreement that will enable Iran to have the atomic bomb,” he added. “That is the position of France, which is independent and peaceful.”

Fabius’ condition echoes that of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano, who was quoted today saying that “the IAEA has the right to request access at all locations, including military ones,” if it observes suspicious activity.

Yesterday, Gérard Araud, France’s ambassador to the United States, said that he did not expect Iran and the P5+1 nations to meet the June 30 deadline for a deal.

A year ago, when the P5+1 nations and Iran were seeking to reach a deal by the July 20 expiration of the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), Amano said that Iran’s failure to explain its past military research would make securing a deal by the deadline difficult. This year’s June 30 deadline reflects two subsequent extensions of the JPOA.

Being able to inspect Iran’s military sites where nuclear may have taken place or be taking place is essential to allow the IAEA “to conduct effective verification.” Iran’s refusal to disclose its past nuclear research has prompted Amano to say more than once that his agency cannot confirm “that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”

[Photo: Bundesministeriums für Europa, Integration und Äusseres / Flickr ]