Iran Seeks Notice Before Nuclear Inspectors Visit

France's foreign minister says Iran wants 24 days’ notice before international inspectors could visit its nuclear sites.

Elad Benari ,

Nuclear plant (illustration)
Nuclear plant (illustration)

France's foreign minister on Wednesday said that Iran wants 24 days’ notice before international inspectors could visit its nuclear sites in the event of a suspected violation of a deal with world powers over its nuclear program, reported The Associated Press (AP).

Laurent Fabius unveiled details about the state of talks between six world powers and Iran ahead of a June 30 deadline to reach an accord aimed to keep Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

He said Iran was seeking 24 days between the reporting of a suspected Iranian violation of the deal's terms and the time when International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors would be allowed to visit the relevant nuclear site.

Fabius cautioned, however, that "a lot of things can disappear" in 24 days and added that another outstanding question is how international sanctions against Iran might be lifted.

Inspections of nuclear sites has been one of the points of contention between Iran and the six powers in working out a nuclear deal.

Iran has categorically denied reports that it would allow inspectors as part of a final deal, describing them as mere rumors and as wrong interpretations of the understanding reached in early April in Switzerland.

Top Iranian commander Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami recently reiterated those statements, saying his country will never permit “foreigners” to inspect its military sites.

Last week, however, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano insisted that a nuclear agreement would give his experts the right to push for access to Iranian military sites.

Amano said Iran specifically agreed to implement what's known as the agency's "Additional Protocol" when it agreed to the outlines of the deal now being worked on.

The protocol would allow the agency's inspectors much more access than they have now to follow up on suspicions of undeclared Iranian nuclear activities or equipment.

In addition to the question of inspections, Iran has also clashed with the West, and particularly the United States, over the interpretation of the framework deal reached last month. It took particular exception to an American fact sheet released after the framework deal was reached.

Iran has been insisting that all sanctions be lifted immediately for any agreement with the West to go into effect. The State Department was quick to dismiss this demand.