Speed Reads

Iran and the bomb

U.N. nuclear watchdog says Iran verification deal 'meets the IAEA requirements'

On Wednesday, The Associated Press threw a wrench into the U.S. debate about the Iran nuclear deal, reporting that the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency had cut a "secret agreement" with Iran that would allow Tehran to handpick the nuclear inspectors at its Parchin military facility, a site the West believes was used to conduct covert hydrodynamic experiments related to nuclear weapons. The IAEA said Thursday that it is satisfied with its arrangements.

Iran won't get any sanctions relief until the IAEA obtains enough information about Tehran's past nuclear activities to sign off on a report by the end of the year. IAEA spokesman Serge Gas said the agency is unable to discuss the details of its confidential agreement with Tehran, but that "the separate arrangements of the roadmap are consistent with the IAEA verification practice and they meet the IAEA requirements."

On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department also backed up the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency. "We're confident in the agency's technical plans for investigating the possible military dimensions of Iran's former program," said spokesman John Kirby, "issues that, in some cases, date back more than a decade." He wouldn't discus any details, but said Congress had received a classified briefing on the IAEA arrangements. Critics of the deal in Congress said the briefing was insufficient.