Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

AP Exclusive: UN to Let Iran Inspect Alleged Nuke Work Site

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

AP Exclusive: UN to Let Iran Inspect Alleged Nuke Work Site

Article excerpt

VIENNA * Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work, according to a document seen by The Associated Press.

The revelation on Wednesday newly riled Republican lawmakers in the U.S. who have been severely critical of a broader agreement to limit Iran's future nuclear programs, signed by the administration of President Barack Obama, Iran and five world powers in July. Those critics have complained that the wider deal is unwisely built on trust of the Iranians, while the administration has insisted it depends on reliable inspections.

"International inspections should be done by international inspectors. Period. The standard of 'anywhere, anytime' inspections so critical to a viable agreement has dropped to 'when Iran wants, where Iran wants, on Iran's terms,' " said U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce in a reaction typical of opponents of the broader deal.

The newly disclosed side agreement, for an investigation of the Parchin nuclear site by the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, is linked to persistent allegations that Iran has worked on atomic weapons. That investigation is part of the overarching nuclear-limits deal.

Evidence of the inspections concession, as outlined in the document, is sure to increase pressure from U.S. congressional opponents before a Senate vote of disapproval on the overall agreement in early September. If the resolution passes and Obama vetoes it, opponents would need a two-thirds majority to override it. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, has suggested opponents would probably lose a veto fight, though that was before Wednesday's disclosure.

John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican senator, said: "Trusting Iran to inspect its own nuclear site and report to the U.N. in an open and transparent way is remarkably naive and incredibly reckless. This revelation only reinforces the deep- seated concerns the American people have about the agreement."

The Parchin agreement was worked out between the IAEA and Iran. …

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