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article imageOp-Ed: No access to Iranian military installations? No deal

By Brian Booker     Jun 5, 2015 in World
One of Iran's key military leaders has stated that under no circumstances will the military grant access to its facilities or personnel for the sake of nuclear inspections. This could put a nuclear deal into jeopardy.
There appears to be a major hang up in the on-going talks between Iran and the Group of 5 + 1. In order to secure a deal, Western countries have been demanding access to military installations to conduct inspections and ensure that Iran is not covertly developing nuclear weapons.
Given that the whole point of international sanctions and negotiations have been to ensure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons, these demands should come as no surprise.
And indeed, Iranian negotiators have been open to the demands, promising “managed access” to military installations in order to ensure that nuclear weapons are not being developed.
Iran's military, however, does not appear to be so inclined to work with the international community. According to state TV channel Tasnim, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian regime’s Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri has stated that no access to military installations or personnel, under any circumstances, will be provided to international inspectors.
The statements made by Jazayeri have yet to be verified but they come on the heels of statements made by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who firmly stated that foreigners will not be allowed to investigate Iran's military sites, or even to interview its scientists.
If that's the case, then Western powers should pull out of negotiations immediately. With the deadline to finalize the negotiations fast approaching, international negotiators are racing against the clock to get a deal in place.
Negotiators shouldn't reach an agreement just for the sake of reaching an agreement, however. If Iran will not allow international experts to inspect military sites for evidence of nuclear weapons development, then there will be no way for the international community to ensure that Iran is not developing nuclear weapons.
Iran's nuclear power reactors might be used for peaceful purposes, but the Iranian government could develop nuclear weapons on military installations. Undoubtedly, having working nuclear reactors in the country would aid Iran's nuclear ambitions, even if any uranium produced by the reactors is low grade and tightly monitored.
Simply developing a basic nuclear infrastructure and technical know-how would likely aid Iran in any of its nuclear ambitions.
American and French officials have stated that their countries will block any deal that denies access to the appropriate military installations and personnel. Granting access to International Atomic Energy Agency personnel is viewed as a critical part of any deal, as it rightfully should be.
Iran has already been backtracking on concessions. Previously, Iran appeared set to send uranium to Russia to be converted into fuel rods, but has since backed away from said position.
Now Iran appears to be on the verge of flip-flopping yet again. And if Iran does decide to block access to military installations, Western leaders would be wise to walk away from the deal.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Iran, iran nuclear program, US negotiations with Iran
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