Welp, that about wraps it up for the great Iranian diplomacy goose chase. The only way to justify letting Iran continue to enrich uranium is if UN inspectors can come and go as they please whenever they please to verify that Iran’s not cheating. Without snap inspections, there’s no way to verify. Now Obama gets to walk away.
No, no, I’m kidding. Obama’s invested so much political capital in getting this deal done, even at the price of driving relations with Israel to the lowest point they’ve been in decades, that he’s got to see it through now. Contrary to what the White House would have you believe, from their standpoint a bad deal at this late hour is much, much better for them than no deal.
An Iranian official criticized the U.N. atomic agency chief for demanding snap inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites, saying such a demand stands in the way of Tehran and world powers reaching a deal on the country’s controversial nuclear program…
Iran’s nuclear spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi was quoted Tuesday on Iranian state TV’s website as saying that snap inspections are “illegal.” He did not elaborate.
Kamalvandi was responding to the demand earlier this month by Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), that Tehran agree to the inspections.
UN snap inspections in Iran have an interesting history. The mullahs decided to allow them in November 2003, “coincidentally” just eight months after the U.S. dropped the hammer on their old pal Saddam next door in Iraq. By 2006, with Iraq in chaos, Iran felt secure enough again to cancel the inspections and resume enrichment. That kicked off the great nuke kabuki between western powers and Iran that’s left us on the doorstep of a major agreement today. But snap inspections remain a sticking point: There were reports in late 2013 that Iran had agreed to let the inspections resume, which Tehran quickly denied. Then, last summer, the spokesman for Iran’s nuke negotiators put snap inspections back on the table, saying it was something the regime might conceivably agree to. Fast-forward to last December and the same spokesman said Iran was sticking to its insistence on regular monthly inspections, not surprise ones like the west demands. Today they’ve added a new flourish that snap inspections would be illegal.