Iran collected samples from the Parchin military base, where it is believed to have carried out nuclear research, without international inspectors there to supervise, an Iranian official told the Islamic Republic News Agency today.
Spokesman for Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Behruz Kamalvandi said sampling of specific points in Parchin was done by Iranian experts in the absence of the inspectors affiliated to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The Hill added that Kamalvandi’s comments could confirm the suspicions of critics of the nuclear deal:
The comments could confirm fears of Iran deal critics that “side deals” between Tehran and the IAEA will allow Iranian officials to take the lead on taking samples at the Parchin military facility. Iran is believed to have previously conducted tests related to nuclear bomb detonations at the facility.
Initial reports about the secret agreements suggested that Iranian officials would be in charge of inspecting the site, though nuclear officials and subsequent reports indicated that the sampling would be closely monitored by the IAEA.
American critics of the nuclear deal have said that the Iranian inspections scheme makes it easy for Iran to cheat, and have compared it to asking an athlete to perform her own drug test.
In its fact sheet about the nuclear deal, the White House contended that “there is no ‘self-inspection’ of Iranian facilities, and the IAEA has in no way given responsibility for nuclear inspections to Iran. Not now and certainly not in the future.”
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told reporters today that the agency “can confirm the integrity of the sampling process.” But his former deputy, Olli Heinonen, said last month that Iran taking its own environmental samples departs “significantly from well-established and proven safeguards practices.”
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