(photo credit: REUTERS)
CIA director John Brennan allegedly came to Israel last week to tell officials that a final nuclear deal with Iran does not have to include a commitment by Tehran to provide access to military bases, or Iranian consent to interview its scientists.
According to a Middle East Media Research Institute report, written by Ayelet Savyon, director of MEMRI’s Iran project, and Col. (res.) Yigal Carmon, president of MEMRI, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei seems to have torpedoed an arrangement under which IAEA inspectors would be allowed to exercise symbolic supervision at Iranian military sites where suspected work has been carried out on military dimensions of the nuclear program.
Khamenei reportedly rejected proposals that would have enabled the IAEA to question Iranian scientists.
His stance has led to an impasse in negotiations with the P5+1 countries (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and China), according to the report, with European Union states refusing to accept a deal in the absence of an arrangement that would accommodate the IAEA’s investigation into possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.
“The Iranian retreat from its agreement to allow a symbolic visit in military sites and the questioning of scientists and military personnel, in exchange for closing the Possible Military Dimensions case [in the IAEA] places President Obama in a problematic situation, and the talks at an impasse, since alongside the Iranian rejection, the EU and the IAEA director-general [Yukiya Amano] refuse to shut the PMD case,” the report said.
“Under these circumstances, it seems the head of the CIA, John Brennan, was sent to Israel to convince it – and through it, the European Union – that intelligence monitoring of every suspected instance of a military dimension in the Iranian nuclear program is a sufficient solution, and that the [IAEA’s] PMD investigation can be left aside,” Carmon and Savyon wrote.
Brennan visited Israel last week and met with senior officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mossad director Tamir Pardo, Military Intelligence head Maj.-Gen. Herzl Halevi and National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen, Haaretz
reported. Israeli officials declined to comment on the reported meetings.
MEMRI cited Iranian media reports that described how Khamenei apparently shot down an agreement reached between his own negotiators and the P5+1 on ways to resolve the IAEA’s investigation, which remains open due to a lack of Iranian cooperation.
According to one Iranian report, in order to reach a final agreement by the June 30 deadline, the US has shown willingness to give up on inspections at military bases and make due only with inspections at declared nuclear sites, while intelligence agencies would handle ongoing monitoring of the Iranian nuclear program. But that proposal has not satisfied the EU or the IAEA. Tehran’s refusal to answer the IAEA’s questions, and its ongoing denial of access to inspectors at sites such as the Parchin military complex, has left talks at a dead end, the report said.