Wednesday 20 May 2015

Khamenei “won’t allow any inspections on military sites"


Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that his government “won’t allow foreigners to carry out any inspections on military sites," doubling down on a key sticking point in talks with world powers over its nuclear program.

Speaking with state-run media, Khamenei also said Iran would not allow foreign governments or agencies to interview its scientists— an inspections requirement set out by the United States, intended to shed light on Tehran's possible military nuclear work.

“I will not permit aliens to come and interview with scientists who have gotten the domestic nuclear knowledge to this level,” Khamenei said at at Imam Hossein University. “They should realize that Iran’s response to any evil move will be very harsh."

Khamenei's comments are not new: He has set out both conditions in recent months, which his deputies in the Iranian government have characterized as redlines in the nuclear talks.

The US, Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and Iran are negotiating toward a comprehensive nuclear accord, working toward a deadline of June 30.

Talks will continue at the deputy political level in Vienna today.

After a political agreement framing the nuclear talks was announced in Lausanne last month, White House officials made clear that both demands had to be met in final nuclear accord: Both access to scientists, as well as to sites suspected of hosting past experiments in nuclear weaponization.

Specifically, the White House says it is hard to imagine a final deal that does not include access to Parchin, a military facility in northern Iran which International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have sought access to since 2005.

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