Administration’s rhetoric on inspections shifts, backtracking from verification promises


While the negotiations in Vienna over Iran’s nuclear program have been extended until July 10, it appears that the Obama administration may back away from its previous position of anytime, anywhere inspections of Iranian nuclear and military facilities. After the announcement of the Lausanne framework on April 2, President Obama said, "Iran has also agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history.” A few weeks later, Ernest Moniz, the U.S. Energy Secretary who has been closely involved the negotiations, was quoted as saying, “We expect to have anywhere, anytime access.”

In the past several days, however, there has been a shift in rhetoric that may be indicative of backtracking from this stance. Jofi Joseph, a former nonproliferation official in the Obama White House, told the Los Angeles Times on Monday that anytime, anywhere inspections would be unrealistic in the case of Iran: “What is forgotten is that Iraq [which faced such inspections under the Saddam Hussein regime] was militarily defeated in a humiliating rout and had little choice but to accept such terms.” Last Friday, a senior Obama Administration official told reporters, "The entry point isn't 'we must be able to get into every military site,' because the United States of America wouldn't allow anybody to get into every military site."

In another indication of a shift, administration officials and supporters of the deal have begun to extol technology that could be used by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to verify Iranian compliance with the deal. “It lowers the requirement for human inspectors going in,” said Moniz. Similarly, Daryl Kimball, the executive director of the Arms Control Association, asserted that with the use of remote technology, the IAEA “can detect [nuclear activities] without going directly into certain areas.”

However, Olli Heinonen, a former deputy-director of the IAEA, expressed skepticism that the technology would be accepted by Iran or that it would be comparable in effectiveness to on the ground inspections. The New York Times reported that Heinonen believed “it would be naïve to expect that the wave of technology could ensure Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal.”


Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president of Iran and an ally of current President Hassan Rouhani, called for the destruction of Israel and described the country as “alien” and “temporary,” according to a report Monday in Iran’s official IRNA news agency. Rafsanjani, who heads the powerful Expediency Council, which advises Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made the comments in an interview with a Hezbollah-affiliated news outlet.

In response to a question why the Zionist regime has done its best to prevent the path for reaching a nuclear agreement between Iran and the West, Ayatollah Rafsanjani said that even Tel Aviv knows well that Iran is not after acquiring nuclear weapons.‘By doing so the Zionist wish to keep Iran engaged in problems permanently, knowing that the Islamic Republic’s political, economic, cultural and propagation status will all improve after such an agreement,’ he said.

Asked about the future of the Palestinian nation, Rafsanjani said that he still believes that eventually one day the forged and temporary Israeli entity, which is an alien existence forged into the body of a nation and a region be wiped off the map.

Rafsanjani, who along with Rouhani is often characterized as a moderate, appears to associate Israel’s destruction with the completion of the nuclear deal.

Iran’s top leaders have a long record of threatening Israel’s existence. Khamenei last year tweeted out “9 key questions about the elimination of Israel.”

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs published a study (.pdf) in 2012 cataloging the various calls Iran’s leaders have issued for Israel’s destruction. (via


One day after Samsung announced its intention to launch a startup accelerator in its development center in the Yakum industrial park, Intel announced the new Intel Ingenuity Partner Program (Intel IPP) initiative for nurturing and promoting Israeli startup companies. Both international technology giants will provide mentoring opportunities for the Israeli startups and access to resources in their facilities. “Intel IPP offers a carefully-structured collaboration process between Intel and startup companies under Intel’s leadership. The process was designed to expand the value that the companies generate from the collaboration,” Intel IPP director Roy Ramon said at the launch event in Tel Aviv. “Intel initiated the program in order to strengthen its ties with startup companies and promote them. Israeli entrepreneurs chosen to collaborate with Intel will receive wealth of opportunities for growth. We look forward to share our knowhow with them and work together.” Intel has already chosen nine mature and early-stage companies for its first accelerator program. The tech giant is working with companies in wireless technologies, connected devices, mobile, IT, internet of things (IoT), wearables, big data analytics, perceptual computing and robotics. (via Israel21c)

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