NIAC Statement on Amb. Haley’s Visit to the IAEA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Trita Parsi
Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council, issued the following statement after U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, met with IAEA officials in an apparent attempt to sow doubt about the agency’s monitoring activities:
“Ambassador Nikki Haley’s highly publicized meeting with officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should heighten concerns that the administration intends to politicize the critically important work of the monitoring agency in an effort to kill the Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“Press reports first mentioned the Trump administration’s intention of pushing for IAEA inspections of Iran’s military sites as an effort to justify withdrawing from the nuclear accord while pinning the blame on Iran. Now, despite no evidence of Iranian noncompliance, Haley has apparently pressed the IAEA on military site visits while publicly calling into question the efficacy of the agency’s work if such visits are not conducted.
“Given the substantial evidence suggesting this effort is a political ploy and not in response to valid suspicions of Iranian cheating, Haley’s efforts will only succeed in weakening the JCPOA and heightening Iranian suspicions in the event that there is a valid reason for the IAEA to seek access to Iran’s sensitive non-nuclear military sites.
“This push is disturbingly similar to the lead-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In 2002 and 2003 the Bush administration fomented hysteria about a nonexistent nuclear weapons program in Iraq in order to lead the U.S. into the most deadly American conflict since Vietnam. Now, the Trump administration appears intent on manufacturing a crisis over IAEA access to Iranian sites that are not suspected of harboring any covert nuclear activities in order to kill the JCPOA. If that is indeed their intent, the Trump administration will set the stage for a war by jeopardizing an agreement that is verifiably blocking Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.
“The JCPOA is working and all parties have noted Iran’s compliance as recently as the Joint Commission’s last meeting in July. The Trump administration must halt its political efforts to subvert the accord and recommit to ensuring the agreement’s success.”