Report: Iran to self-inspect its Parchin facility

Earlier this week, on news that international nuclear inspectors will be permitted into Iran only if they receive approval from the regime, I wondered “what’s next, blindfolds for the inspectors?”

Apparently, I was too optimistic. AP reports that Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site at which it has been accused of developing nuclear arms. This arrangement is part of a secret agreement between Iran and the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

AP relies on a document it says it has seen. The document makes no provision for visits by international inspectors, nor will inspectors even get photo or video information from areas Iran says are off-limits because they have military significance, according to AP.

The cite in question is the Parchin nuclear site, where U.S., Israeli and other intelligence believe Iran has experimented with high-explosive detonators for nuclear arms. President Obama farmed out the portion of the deal pertaining to Parchin to the IAEA, which then reached a secret deal with Iran. If AP’s report is accurate, one certainly can see why the deal needs to be secret.

Indeed, one can see why Obama farmed Parchin out to the IAEA in the first place. Very likely, he realized that Iran was holding out for self-inspection and that he could not get away with formally accepting this arrangement himself.

President Obama has boasted that the Iran deal provides “unprecedented verification.” It looks like he’s right. Self-inspection in a deal of this significance is surely unprecedented. Olli Heinonen, who was in charge of the Iran probe as deputy IAEA director general from 2005 to 2010, said he could think of no similar concession to any other country.

Until now, it seems, international inspections have been conducted by international inspectors. Clearly, Obama has a very special relationship with Iran.

“Trust but verify” loses its meaning when one trusts any country to self-verify compliance with a nuclear deal. And the world is turned upside down when Iran is the country one trusts to self-verify