(FiveNation.com)- One of the many decisions made by President Donald Trump that President Biden vowed to overturn was Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Trump had reason to do so. Believing that the Islamic Republic of Iran, the world’s chief state sponsor of terrorism, would honor the terms of any agreement is deeply naive.
But the West, the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency just keep getting played for fools.
Back in June, IAEA monitoring equipment located at the TESA Karaj workshop was sabotaged and one of their cameras was destroyed. The TESA Karaj complex, which makes components for centrifuges to enrich uranium, is one of several sites Iran agreed to open to IAEA inspectors. These inspectors are supposed to be able to have access to the sites in order to service the IAEA monitoring equipment and replace memory cards that have filled up with data.
So on September 12, the IAEA Board of Governors reached an accord with Iran allowing inspects access to these sites. But on Sunday, when inspectors showed up at the TESA Karaj workshop to operate and reinstall the cameras, they were denied access.
The timing couldn’t be more suspect, coming as it does just as Iran is rapidly moving toward having enough nuclear material to build a weapon.
When the Board of Governors notified member states that Iran had denied access to TESA Karaj, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, Kazem Gharibabadi, hit back saying that this facility is not included in the September 12 agreement because of ongoing investigations there.
Gharibabadi claimed that the IAEA’s Sunday report “goes beyond the agreed terms” of the September 12 accord.
In response to the news, on Monday the US sent a statement to the IAEA’s 35-nation board expressing concern over Iran’s refusal to comply with the September 12 agreement. In the statement, US officials called on Iran to open the workshop to IAEA inspectors “without further delay,” warning that if Iran refuses, the US would closely consult with the board “in the coming days on an appropriate response.”
But what possible response could US officials push for? Any forceful resolution would likely destroy the Biden administration’s plan to resume indirect talks with Iran to restart the 2015 nuclear deal.
Under ordinary circumstances, Iran bristles at such resolutions. But now, with its new hardline President Ebrahim Raisi vowing not to return to the negotiating table under Western “pressure,” a forceful response would probably make any negotiations on the nuclear deal all but impossible.