U.S. will insist on full access for inspectors in Iran deal, Blinken tells AJC

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States continues to insist on nuclear inspectors’ unfettered access as part of a nuclear deal with Iran, the deputy U.S. secretary of state told an American Jewish group.

“We would not agree to a deal unless the IAEA is granted access to whatever Iranian sites are required to verify that Iran’s program is exclusively peaceful – period,” Tony Blinken said Monday, addressing the annual global forum of the American Jewish Committee and referring to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran’s leaders have in recent weeks said they would restrict inspections under a deal.

The major powers and Iran are due to come to a comprehensive agreement by June 30. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a number of pro-Israel groups, including the American Jewish Committee, say the emerging sanctions relief for nuclear rollback deal concedes too much to Iran.

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“The United States continues to believe – as we have from day one – that no deal is preferable to a bad deal,” Blinken said.

He also pushed back against criticism that some provisions of the deal would lapse within 10 to 15 years.

“Different requirements of the deal would have different durations, but some – including Iran’s commitment to all of the obligations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, including the obligation not to build a nuclear weapon, as well as the tough access and monitoring provisions of the Additional Protocol – those would continue in perpetuity,” Blinken said.

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