Great news: Iran deal monitors can’t disclose violation details

posted at 4:31 pm on March 7, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Old and busted: Trust but verify! New hotness: Ask me no questions, I will tell no lies … The Washington Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo discovers that the new nuclear-weapons deal with Iran has a brilliant new innovation in compliance — inspectors cannot report in detail about violations of the agreement.

No, really:

The head of the international community’s nuclear watchdog organization disclosed Monday that certain agreements reached under the Iran nuclear deal limit inspectors from publicly reporting on potential violations by the Islamic Republic.

Yukiya Amano, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, which is responsible for ensuring Iran complies with the agreement, told reporters that his agency is no longer permitted to release details about Iran’s nuclear program and compliance with the deal.

Amano’s remarks come on the heels of a February IAEA oversight report that omitted many details and figures related to Iran’s nuclear program. The report sparked questions from outside nuclear experts and accusations from critics that the IAEA was not being transparent with its findings.

Amano disclosed in response to questions from reporters that the last report was intentionally vague because the nuclear agreement prohibits the IAEA from publishing critical data about Iran’s program that had been disclosed by the agency in the past.

In other words, compliance reporting will go something like this:

IAEA: We found violations by Iran in the agreement.

UN: What are they doing?

IAEA: We can’t tell you that.

UN: Where are they conducting these violations?

IAEA: Yeah, we can’t tell you that either. 

UN: Well … what can you tell us?

IAEA: That we found violations by Iran in the agreement.

Kredo reminds readers that the Obama administration promised that the agreement would enhance the transparency of Iranian nuclear efforts. In fact, Obama sold transparency and compliance oversight as the two big wins for US and UN from the deal in his July 14th speech:

Today, because America negotiated from a position of strength and principle, we have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region. Because of this deal, the international community will be able to verify that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon.

This deal meets every single one of the bottom lines that we established when we achieved a framework earlier this spring. Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off. And the inspection and transparency regime necessary to verify that objective will be put in place.

Events have proven all of those claims entirely false. According to the IAEA, the P5+1 (or EU3+3,  or whatever negotiating configuration one prefers) ended up agreeing to allow Iran to impose even more opacity in the process, leaving everyone but the Iranians in the dark on their efforts, will giving the Iranians a massive infusion of capital to use in this new “verification” process. Gee, I wonder what they’ll do with all of that cash and opacity now?

Just remember, though … this is smart power. Not for the first time, this deal recalls this classic Adult Swim video. The only question is whether we have reached the clown-shoe level in American diplomacy, and the only answer to that question is I certainly hope so.

Update: The headline has changed from “violations” to “violation details” for better precision.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback