Subscribe

Iran determined to protect state secrets from UN inspections

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a news conference that he would not allow nuclear inspections from the United Nations if the inspections would jeopardize state secrets. Iran's nuclear talks could also be delayed if new issues arose.

  • close
    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks with media in a press conference in Tehran, Iran in May. Rouhani said in a news conference that he would not allow nuclear inspections from the United Nations if the inspections would jeopardize state secrets.
    Ebrahim Noroozi/AP/File
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday a comprehensive nuclear deal could be delayed if world powers brought new issues into play, and he would not accept a U.N. inspections regime that jeopardized state secrets.

Iran is aiming to strike an accord with six powers by June 30 that would curtail its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions. But negotiators have hit an impasse in part over how much enhanced access International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors should have to Iranian sites.

"Iran will absolutely not allow its national secrets to fall into the hands of foreigners through the Additional Protocol or any other means," Rouhani said in a televised news conference, referring to an IAEA provision that would allow more intrusive inspections in the Islamic Republic.

U.S. and French diplomats have called for Iran to accept stringent measures including granting inspectors access to its military sites as well as inspections on as little as two hours notice -- access that the Protocol could encompass.

Rouhani said Iran could embrace the Protocol, noting that other states that are signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) had done so without problem. But he insisted Iran should not face especially far-reaching measures.

"A problem we face on many issues is that when we reach a framework in one meeting, our negotiating partners go back on it in the next meeting," said Rouhani, a pragmatist elected in 2013 on a platform of limited Iranian engagement with the West, after many years of deepening hostility.

"If the other side sticks to the framework that has been established, and does not bring new issues into play, I believe it can be solved... But if they want to take the path of brinkmanship, the negotiations could take longer."

The IAEA has long had regular, if limited, access to Iran's nuclear-related sites. But Tehran has refused to let the agency visit military sites, citing the risk of security-sensitive information being passed on to Western intelligence agencies.

The U.S. ambassador to the IAEA, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, said on Thursday that additional nuclear transparency measures were outlined in a preliminary deal reached in April between Iran and its negotiating partners.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final word on Iran's foreign and security policy, has ruled out several requests by the West, including on interviewing its nuclear scientists and "extraordinary supervision measures."

The Additional Protocol would also permit the IAEA to collect environmental samples like soil that can unearth military dimensions to nuclear activities years after they have taken place.

Western powers have long suspected Iran of trying to develop the means to make atomic bombs, while Iran insists its uranium enrichment program is purely for peaceful purposes.

Rouhani said: "What is important to Iran is that, in implementing this protocol, we make it clear to the world that the accusations we have faced about trying to build a bomb are baseless."

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK