Date
13 December 2017
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the US call for inspection of its military sites is unlikely to be accepted by the UN nuclear watchdog. Photo: Reuters
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the US call for inspection of its military sites is unlikely to be accepted by the UN nuclear watchdog. Photo: Reuters

Iran rejects US demand for UN visit to military sites

Iran has dismissed a US demand for United Nations nuclear inspectors to visit its military bases as “merely a dream”, Reuters reports.

It also said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was unlikely to agree anyway.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, last week pressed the IAEA to seek access to Iranian military bases to ensure that they were not concealing activities banned by the 2015 nuclear deal reached between Iran and six major powers.

US President Donald Trump has called the nuclear pact — negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama — “the worst deal ever”. In April, he ordered a review of whether a suspension of nuclear sanctions on Iran was in the US interest.

Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht responded at a weekly news conference broadcast on state television on Tuesday.

“Iran’s military sites are off limits,” he said. “All information about these sites are classified. Iran will never allow such visits. Don’t pay attention to such remarks that are only a dream.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani followed up later by saying the U.S. call was unlikely to be accepted by the UN nuclear watchdog.

“The International Atomic Energy Agency is very unlikely to accept America’s demand to inspect our military sites,” Rouhani said in a televised interview.

Rouhani gave no indication why he believed the IAEA would decline the request. Under the deal, the IAEA can request access to Iranian sites including military ones if it has concerns about activities there that violate the agreement, but it must show Iran the basis for those concerns.

Under U.S. law, the State Department must notify Congress every 90 days of Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal. The next deadline is October, and Trump has said he thinks by then the United States will declare Iran to be non-compliant.

So far, IAEA inspectors have certified that Iran is fully complying with the deal, under which it significantly reduced its enriched uranium stockpile and took steps to ensure no possible use of it for a nuclear weapon.

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