Iran Accepts UN Inspection of Military Sites Amid Nuclear Talks

Iran Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi
Iran Deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi. Photographer: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Iran has accepted international inspections of military sites under its management, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told the parliament, according to a report from the Fars news agency on Sunday.

Iran has “accepted inspection of military sites,” under the terms of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s additional protocol, Javad Karimi-Ghodousi, a member of parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, cited Araghchi as saying in a closed parliament session. He added that “this inspection will be seriously managed.”

Access by the United Nations nuclear agency to some of Iran’s military sites, which are deemed suspect by the U.S. and its allies, has been a sticking point in the country’s negotiations with six world powers over its nuclear program.

Iran and China, France, Russia, the U.K., the U.S. and Germany are seeking to reach a final, comprehensive nuclear deal by June 30 after sealing a framework agreement between the two sides in April.

Araghchi didn’t elaborate on what this would mean in practical terms, Fars said. The IAEA’s additional protocol is intended to provide greater access to check for any clandestine nuclear work.

A U.S. State Department “fact sheet” published last month stipulates Iran would be required to grant the UN nuclear agency access to any “suspicious sites.” Iranian officials have said they don’t agree with elements of the U.S. position.

Speaking last week, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated that “foreigners” shouldn’t get access to his nation’s military sites as a national security measure.

Iran has declined a request by world powers to interview several of its nuclear scientists, Araghchi was also cited as saying, according to Fars.

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