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Washington Seeks to Inspect Suspicious Iranian Military Bases | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian workers stand in front of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, about 1,200 km (746 miles) south of Tehran October 26, 2010. (REUTERS/Mehr News Agency/Majid Asgaripour)

London – US President Donald Trump’s Administration is seeking to conduct inspections of suspicious Iranian military sites, in an attempt to verify Tehran’s commitment to the 2015 Nuclear Deal, according to well-informed sources in the US government.

The inspection is regarded as one of the most stringent approaches to prevent Iran’s access to nuclear weapons.

While the new US administration is trying to monitor the existing deal more rigorously, it is working to reform what Trump’s aides have described as “serious flaws” in the historic agreement.

The Associated Press (AP) quoted US officials, who were speaking on condition of anonymity, as saying that US effort “also includes discussions with European countries to negotiate a follow-up agreement to prevent Iran from resuming nuclear development after the deal’s restrictions expire” in around ten years.

During nuclear negotiations, Iran has fiercely opposed the inspection of its military posts and is likely to reject any new request to inspect military sites, prompting the US president to take the long-awaited decision on whether to abide by the international agreement that he has been avoiding.

In September 2015, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, visited the Parchin facility, where Iran was suspected of carrying out initial tests of nuclear weapons.

The agency then said it took samples from the site as part of secret negotiations leading to a nuclear deal.

At the end of August, the IAEA announced an agreement with Tehran to conduct inspections by Iranian experts.

According to AP, if Iran refuses the inspection request, the US president will have a solid argument to say that Tehran is breaching the deal. However, if Iran agrees to inspections, “those in Trump’s administration, who want to preserve the deal, will be emboldened to argue it’s advancing US national security effectively.”

Iran’s nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed in Vienna on July 14, 2015, between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, which include China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States, in addition to Germany and the European Union.