Iran threatened the International Atomic Energy Agency head with harm if he reveals the contents of their secret agreement, which, Congress fears, could be inadequate in preventing Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Iran has reportedly threatened the safety of the director of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukia Amano, warning him not to reveal details of the confidential agreement the IAEA has signed with the Islamic Republic as part of the nuclear accord with the P5+1 powers.
According to the Iranians, Amano has so far not disclosed the “secrets” of the IAEA’s recent agreement with Iran to the US Congress for “fear of its aftermaths.”
“In a letter to Yukiya Amano, we underlined that if the secrets of the agreement are revealed, we will lose our trust in the Agency; and despite the US Congress’s pressures, he didn’t give any information to them,” Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said in a meeting with Iranian lawmakers in Tehran on Monday, according to the Iranian Fars news agency.
“Had he done so, he himself would have been harmed,” Kamalvandi added ambiguously.
The IAEA signed a separate agreement with Iran regarding the inspections of Iran’s suspected nuclear sites. The details of the agreement have so far remained confidential, leading Congress to protest the hidden agreement out of fear that it will not prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Earlier this month, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, Reza Najafi, warned the UN nuclear watchdog to avoid disclosing the information. “The agreements signed between a member country and the IAEA are definitely secret and cannot be presented to any other country at all,” Najafi stated.
He said that Tehran has already warned the IAEA chief against the “repercussions of a disclosure” of its agreement with the IAEA.
“Iran has clarified it to Amano that the text of its understanding with the IAEA cannot be presented to the Senate,” Najafi reiterated.
“The Agency knows what it means to disclose a secret document, he added.”
Secret Side Deal with Iran
The inspection of Iran’s nuclear sites, including the military bases suspected of harboring part of Iran’s nuclear program, falls under the purview of the IAEA. The Iranians have put many limitations on such inspections, rendering them almost completely useless.
Amano told Congress earlier this month that he could not provide a copy of the organization’s nuclear inspection document with Iran, despite harsh criticism from senators.
Members of Congress have criticized the Obama administration, saying Congress has not been given access to the document, which they say is needed in order to decide whether or not to vote in favor of the deal in September.
Amano, who met with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he has a legal obligation to keep the document confidential. “Imagine if a country provides me with confidential information…and I do not honor the commitment. No country will share information with us,” Amano told reporters after the meeting.
Earlier, at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Iran, Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Committee, asked a leading US negotiator of the deal: “Why now will you not give us the documents that exist that are so important to all of us relative to the integrity of this? Why not?”
Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman said the US does not have the paperwork, but she offered to tell senators in a classified briefing later in the day what she knows about the separate document between Iran and nuclear inspectors that is part of the nuclear accord negotiated with Tehran.
“I did see the provisional documents,” she said. “I didn’t see the final documents.”
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
AP contributed to this report.
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