On July 17 President Obama gave his key speech outlining the deal that the USA with its P5+1 partners had negotiated with Iran. In this speech he said the following, in his own words, “Because of this deal, we will, for the first time, be in a position to verify all of these commitments. That means this deal is not built on trust; it is built on verification. Inspectors will have 24/7 access to Iran’s key nuclear facilities.”
However, the reality is quite different. It turns out that under the terms of the deal the verification process is limited only to those nuclear sites that have been identified in advance and that the USA knows about. Any sites that are not identified in advance (such as previously secret sites) cannot be visited for verification purposes, and no sites identified as military sites by Iran can be visited by inspectors without prior permission by the Iranian authorities. The process established with the Intl. Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is that the Iranians will have 25 days to respond to such requests, and if they then refuse access, the request will go before a joint committee of the Western Allies and Iran for discussion. If at the end of the discussion Iran still refuses, then the West has no recourse to visit the site. There is no requirement that sanctions could be reinstituted (the so-called “snap back” provision) if Iran refuses access to its military sites. So there is NO “24/7 access” as Obama stated, he either deliberately lied, knowing that this was NOT the case, or he was ignorant of the crucial terms of the deal, which would indicate terrible incompetence.
More recently it has been reported from UN sources that in fact there is a secret protocol attached to the main agreement in which the IAEA agreed with Iran to allow the Iranians to check their own sites. So that if the IAEA is suspicious of a previously identified nuclear site and wants samples from that site, the Iranians will be tasked with collecting the necessary samples and giving them to the IAEA for testing. This has been compared to allowing the fox to guard the hens, or like trusting the Nazis, the Communists or the N. Koreans to be honest in their dealings with the West. Not only is this nonsense, but it compares to the policy of appeasement that led UK PM Neville Chamberlain to state emphatically in 1938 that “Mr. Hitler is an honorable man,” one year before the start of WWII.
In hearings on Aug 3 before the Senate Armed Services Committee, US Secty. of State Kerry, apart from showing abysmal ignorance of what was in the actual agreement he had signed on behalf of the US, admitted that he knew nothing about this secret protocol and neither apparently did anyone on his staff (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nS_vLTTIZL8). Further, it means that in actual fact he broke the law, because it is illegal for a representative of the USA to agree to a treaty or agreement with a foreign power in which there are secret protocols not revealed to the US side. This is such a terrible mess, that I cannot see how anyone with any sense or concern for US interests could agree to such a dangerous and ridiculous deal. By the way, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamanei, announced the other day that Iran will not be bound by those terms of the deal that it rejects.