Iranian government spokesperson Mohammad Bagher Nobakht speaking at the televised news conference. Photo: Mehr news agency
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Iranian government has rejected demands by the US to have the United Nations inspect their military sites to confirm compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, a spokesperson said at a press conference in Tehran on Tuesday.
“Iran’s military sites are off limits. All information about these sites are classified,” said Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, Reuters reported. “Iran will never allow such visits. Don’t pay attention to such remarks that are only a dream.”
His remarks came in response to US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley’s meeting with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna last week in an attempt to pressure the agency to inspect Iranian military sites.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant officials have all voiced their clear and stern position on this issue,” Nobakht said, according to Iran’s Mehr News agency. “Iran’s military sites are top secret and not accessible to anyone.”
The landmark nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was reached between Iran and permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as the European Union (China, France, Russia, the UK and the US) plus Germany (P5+1) under former President Barack Obama's administration in July 2015 and came into effect in January 2016.
As part of the JCPOA, the US President must recertify Iran’s adherence for the deal to US congress every three months in exchange for the removal of many international economic sanctions.
President Donald Trump’s administration reluctantly announced that Iran is complying with the nuclear agreement after meeting with top security advisors in mid-July.
“If it was up to me, I would have had them noncompliant 180 days ago,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal on July 25.
Trump has called the JCPOA, “the worst deal ever.”
The next deadline will come in October and Trump has already said that he thinks by then the US will declare Iran to be non-compliant.
Former Deputy Director of the CIA, David Cohen told CNN earlier this month that it was “very disconcerting” that it appears Trump has already come to a conclusion about the deal before finding the intelligence to support his decision.
"If our intelligence is degraded because it is politicized in the way that it looks like the president wants to do here, that undermines the utility of that intelligence all across the board," said Cohen. "If it's politicized, that credibility and reliability is undermined."
In accordance with the nuclear deal, requests for access “will not be aimed at interfering with Iranian military or other national security activities.”
If there are any concerns by the IAEA about “undeclared nuclear materials or activities, or activities inconsistent with the JCPOA, at locations that have not been declared” under safeguard agreements with Iran, the IAEA is required to provide Iran the basis for those concerns and request further clarification.
Iran has repeatedly refused inspections by the IAEA to its military sites during its decade-long stand-off with world powers regarding their nuclear program. Iran’s government stated it has nothing to do with nuclear activity and are beyond the IAEA’s authority.
“We will defend our national interests,” Nobakht stressed, dismissing any future possibility of inspections of Iran’s military sites by the IAEA, Mehr reported.