A nuclear deal with Iran is “useless” if it does not allow inspectors to check military sites, French Foerign Minister Laurent Fabius told (Google link) The Wall Street Journal today.
Fabius said if Tehran wanted to build a nuclear weapon in violation of an international agreement, it would inevitably do so at a military site or other secret facility.
“The best agreement, if you cannot verify it, it’s useless,” said Mr. Fabius. “Several countries in the region would say, OK, a paper [has been signed] but we think it is not strong enough and therefore we ourselves have to become nuclear.”
“Therefore, if you say you cannot check any military site, then there is no [real] agreement,” he said.
Mr. Fabius said a potential accord should also specify how much time should be allowed between the request to inspect a site and access actually being granted to inspectors. “If it is too long a delay, they have enough time to change everything,” he said.
Last month, Fabius dismissed an Iranian demand that 24 days notice be given before inspections of suspected nuclear sites, saying that “a lot of things can disappear” in that time.
Fabius’s comments matched that of former CIA director general Michael Hayden, who told a congressional hearing last year that “there isn’t a neutron or an electron in Natanz that’s every going to show up in a nuclear weapon,” since the material Iran would use for a bomb would come from a secret site.
As the Journal noted, Fabius has emerged as the most vocal skeptic of the emerging nuclear deal among the P5+1 negotiators. Fabius said prior to the November 2013 Joint Plan of Action that France would not accept “a sucker’s deal.”
Despite repeated insistence from Fabius and the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iranian military sites be subject to inspections, Iran’s leadership has consistently said that such inspections would not be allowed as part of a nuclear deal.
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