According to a draft document viewed by AP, Iran has agreed to cooperate with the U.N. in answering longstanding allegations about possible past work to develop nuclear weapons at its Parchin plant — but only with the Iranians conducting the inspections themselves. Iran would collect its own environmental samples on the site and carry out other work usually done by IAEA experts. The IAEA will be able to review the Iranians’ work after the fact. The deal on Parchin was between the IAEA and Iran. The Obama Administration was not a direct party to the agreement, but apparently was aware of it.
…Any IAEA inspection of a country suspected of nuclear irregularities is usually carried out by agency experts. . . . The document on Parchin, however, will let the Iranians themselves look for signs of the very activity they deny — past work on nuclear weapons. It says ‘Iran will provide’ the agency with environmental samples. It restricts the number of samples at the suspect site to seven and to an unspecified number ‘outside of the Parchin complex’ at a site that still needs to be decided.
The U.N. agency will take possession of the samples for testing, as usual. Iran will also provide photos and video of locations to be inspected. But the document suggests that areas of sensitive military activity remain out of bounds. The draft says the IAEA will ‘ensure the technical authenticity of the activities’ carried out by the Iranians — but it does not say how.
..Olli Heinonen, in charge of the Iran investigation as IAEA deputy director general from 2005 through 2010, says he can think of no similar arrangement — a country essentially allowed to carry out much of the probe of suspicions against it.
Now we get this news:
With the nuclear deal with Iran soon to be etched in stone, the country is projected to receive anywhere from $100-150 billion in unfrozen assets–American Action Forum says $140 billion– as part of sanctions relief in return for limiting its nuclear weapons program. Yes, a known state-sponsor of terrorism is receiving billions that won’t be spent on terrorist activities. Remember, Secretary of State John Kerry forcefully said, “They’re not allowed to do that,” whereas National Security Adviser Susan Rice admitted that some of that money could fund such nefarious operations. Given the numbers crunched by American Action Forum, this cash injection could increase Iran’s terror funding by 50 percent.
Is it any wonder his numbers are heading downwards? (via David Hauptmann)
“As Congress inches closer to a vote to approve or disapprove of the deal, 56% of Americans now say they think Congress should reject the deal with Iran — up from 52% less than a month ago — according to the latest CNN/ORC poll releasedThursday.
“And 6-in-10 Americans also disapprove of President Barack Obama’s handling of the U.S. relationship with Iran, according to the poll.”
CNN also finds, “After a brief bump into positive territory, disapproval of President Barack Obama is on the rise amid dismal reviews of his work on several foreign policy issues and a sense that his policies would lead the country in the wrong direction.
“According to a new CNN/ORC Poll, Obama’s disapproval rating has inched above 50%, with 51% now saying they disapprove of how he’s handling the presidency and 47% approving…
One of the biggest sponsors of terror has now increased its funding by 50%. Way to go Obama! Friggin dimwit.
The AP story was refuted not long ago by the Huffington Post as a Israeli forgery (dem damn jooooos) but Fred Fleitz ain’t buying it:
The Huffington Post ran a story this morning that included the below annotation of the AP’s transcript by former IAEA official Tariq Rauf, who said, “In my personal view, this is not an authentic document” and is “likely a crude attempt to hinder the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] and the Road-map.”
Rauf’s objections to technical details of how Iranians will collect samples for the IAEA are not persuasive and sound like nitpicking. However, he does raise other credible points about the AP transcription.
Rauf is right that Iran never refers to itself as “the Islamic State of Iran.” Rauf also is correct that this document does not use the normal IAEA bureaucratic prose. Based on my experience working with IAEA documents, I believe this strongly suggests the document shown to the AP was written by a third party. However, for three reasons I do not believe this means it is a forgery.
First, the errors and non-IAEA prose in the AP’s transcribed document appear to indicate a first draft written by a party other than Iran or the IAEA to resolve the Parchin issue. This is consistent with my assessment that the side deal documents were drafted by the United States and handed to the IAEA to finalize after U.S. diplomats were unable to resolve the issues of the Parchin military base and possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program during the talks. The AP says it was told by two anonymous officials that this document is a draft and “does not differ from the final, confidential agreement between the IAEA and Iran.” I believe it probably is a first draft written by a political appointee at the State Department or an NSC staffer.
Second, to believe this is a forgery one has to believe George Jahn and the Associated Press were deceived by two anonymous diplomats or U.S. officials. I doubt this could happen to a reporter as experienced as Jahn. (MSNBC believes otherwise and attacked Jahn as “not a real reporter” for his article.) The AP is standing by this story and I doubt it would put its reputation on the line if it did not believe Jahn’s article was rock solid.
Third, claims by backers of the Iran deal that this is an Israeli forgery are nonsense. If the Israelis wanted to do a forgery like this it would be perfect. An Israeli foreign ministry or intelligence officer would never use the wrong terminology for Iran.
My bottom line is that the side-deal document transcribed by the AP is not a forgery but a first draft written by a third party that is essentially the same as the final version agreed to by the IAEA and Iran. The outstanding question is who wrote this initial draft. Given Secretary Kerry’s efforts in May and June to drop the issues of the Parchin base and possible military dimensions, I think it is very likely the side-deal documents were drafted by the United States and given to the IAEA, which agreed to make them into secret agreements with Iran to finalize the main agreement.