Tag Archives: P5+1

IAEA: AP’s Claims on Iran ‘Self-Inspection’ False

Amano ‘Disturbed’ by Bogus Allegations

by Jason Ditz, August 20, 2015

Wednesday’s massive scandal surrounding IAEA access to Iran’s Parchin military site, stemming entirely from an Associated Press story by George Jahn, was already falling apart by evening, with the AP cutting many of the bogus allegations from the initial story.

In the initial version, Jahn claimed the number of samples from the site would be limited to seven, and that Iranian scientists would be the ones to analyze those samples. He went on to allege that no IAEA inspectors would be allowed in Parchin at all, and that Iran would “inspect itself.”

A few hours later, the AP overwrote the initial story with one removing many of the claims. By evening, the article consisted of a single sentence accusing self-inspection, and a bunch of statements from US hawks condemning the “revelation.” This reporter was already pointing out that claim was false.

When the IAEA finally chimed in today, they confirmed as much, with IAEA Chief Amano Yukiya saying he was “disturbed” by the false claims and attempts at “misrepresentation” of the deal, saying that the IAEA actually would be given access to Parchin.

Jahn’s allegations appear to have stemmed from a claim last month that Iran would be collecting soil samples at Parchin, which the AP reporter incorrectly identified as a “nuclear site.” This part was itself misleading, but partially true given the current, admittedly limited understanding of the IAEA-Iran agreement.

Parchin is a conventional military site, and Iran is accused of having once performed explosive tests there on potential triggers for a nuclear explosion. Iran denies this too, but has provided the IAEA with access a few times in the past to Parchin.

The problem is that access to the conventional military site can quickly turn into espionage against Iran’s conventional defense forces, and much of the late discussion on the P5+1 deal centered on how Iran could provide limited, but sufficient, access to such sites.

The IAEA was never expected to get full access to Parchin, with US officials saying they wouldn’t let international inspectors have unrestricted access to their military sites either. The IAEA will be given direct access to many of the parts of the massive facility they seek, but some samples may be provided by Iran to limit inspectors’ access to classified, but perfectly legal, weapons research.

The biggest scandal remaining appears to be from the Associated Press itself, which quietly overwrote most of Jahn’s allegations, but never offered any sort of retraction, let alone any statement explaining how a series of false, unsourced claims came to be published in the first place.

Obama, Congress Dispute Renewal of Iran Sanctions Law

Obama Wants Delay in Renewal of Expiring Law

by Jason Ditz, August 12, 2015

The White House and Congress have spent so much time fighting over the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran recently, that another issue has almost completely slipped everyone’s minds. The Iran Sanctions Act  is set to expire in late 2016.

That’s set to be the new Obama vs. Congress battle, as while both sides agree the act can be extended and just ignored by the White House, to allow more ease of “snap back” sanctions against Iran in the future, the biggest hawks in Congress are hoping for a big extension, and quick, to show how much they oppose Iran.

The White House is urging caution, believing such a move would risk provocation a reaction from Iran, and an international perception that the US Congress is trying to renege on the nuclear deal, even though that vote isn’t coming until next month.

Though the Republican leadership in Congress is expected to virtually uniformly vote against the nuclear deal, it is not expected to be enough to block it. The votes on the extension of the Sanctions Act are unclear, but there is concern it will have added amendments from hawks aimed at harming the nuclear deal.

In Open Letter, Retired Pentagon Brass Endorse Iran Deal

Call on Congress to Vote in Favor of the Pact

by Jason Ditz, August 11, 2015

In a new open letter, three dozen retired US generals and admirals have endorsed the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran as the “most effective means” to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and called on Congress to vote in favor of the pact.

The letter echoes sentiment from current Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, who said that resolving the dispute with Iran diplomatically “is superior than trying to do that militarily.”

A military confrontation with Iran is very much the point for a lot of the Congressional opponents, however, and the letter also seemed aimed at them, saying that a US war with Iran would be much easier to sell internationally if the diplomatic deal had been tried first.

Congress is not expected to be able to muster enough votes to block the deal, and administration officials are warning that if they do it would be calamitous for America’s global standing, and making diplomacy with other nations much more difficult in the future.