U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today introduced an amendment to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (S. 615) to require the secretary of state to verify whether the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which would be in charge of inspections in Iran under this agreement, would have access to inspect all military bases if they were deemed to be suspicious sites.
“Any deal with Iran must be verifiable, enforceable, and accountable in order to promote security and stability in the region and around the world,” said Thune. “We must be able to verify that Iran will not reject access to suspicious sites under the pretext that they are military bases. It is not only the number of centrifuges we are worried about, but also Iran’s technological capabilities for creating a nuclear weapon, such as the development of high-explosive fuses for imploding a nuclear device. My amendment would draw attention to this concern, requiring military bases be included in State Department’s report on the capability of the International Atomic Energy Agency to implement a verification regime. For whatever final agreement is reached, it is essential that inspectors have complete access.”The Agreed Framework for the Iran Nuclear deal announced by the White House on April 2, 2015, included the details of a verification regime for IAEA inspectors. Although inspections of known enrichment facilities appear to be thorough according to this initial framework, concerns remain that Iran will conceal aspects of a nuclear weapons program by denying access to additional suspicious sites, including military facilities. By requiring the secretary of state to verify that IAEA has access to inspect military bases, Thune’s amendment will help ensure that Iran cannot use military facilities to hide nuclear activities and circumvent the agreement.