Iran apparently faces little U.S. pressure to fully recount its nuclear past amid a global push to rein in its current efforts, the New York Times reports.
Obama insiders said Iran would never offer a look at many of its sensitive facilities in a possible package deal to assure other countries that it is not seeking a nuclear-arms capacity, the newspaper reported on Tuesday. Negotiators from Washington and five other capitals want to restrict the nation’s bomb-usable nuclear activities under terms they hope to finalize with Tehran by July 20, when an interim accord with the Persian Gulf power is schedule to expire.
Still, no potential agreement would reveal Iran’s level of expertise on matters that could help it to assemble a nuclear bomb if it decided to do so, according to the Times. A lack of full transparency would leave U.S. intelligence officials with the task of ensuring that Iran does not secretly pursue nuclear arms, despite their mixed historical success in conducting such oversight.
A top U.N. nuclear watchdog official added that it is “not possible to find out everything” about Iran’s past nuclear activities, including possible elements geared toward weapons development.
“Some documents have disappeared,” International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Yukiya Amano told the newspaper last week. “Some people have already died. In some cases, Iran does not give us access.”
He added that his organization has “not yet made a specific request” to interview Mohsen Fahkrizadeh, the possible leader of nuclear-arms efforts in Iran.
In Washington, lawmakers on Tuesday aired worries about “the enormous challenge of monitoring and verifying any potential final agreement with Iran,” as House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) put it.
In a classified meeting, panel members “noted that the onus is on Iran to prove that it has not engaged in a covert weapons program,” Royce said in prepared comments.
What We're Following See More »
"FBI Director Chris Wray will change his chief of staff in the coming weeks, multiple sources told CNN Tuesday. James Rybicki, who served Wray's predecessor, James Comey, in the same role, will soon leave, the sources said. Zachary Harmon, a white-collar lawyer, will take on the role." Rybicki played a "role in crafting a statement that exonerated Hillary Clinton in her email server investigation." In related news, the Washington Post reports that "Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia who is acting head of the Justice Department’s national security division, has been selected to be the FBI’s next general counsel."
"Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is seeking to question President Trump in the coming weeks about his decisions to oust national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with his plans. ... The president’s legal team hopes to provide Trump’s testimony in a hybrid form — answering some questions in a face-to-face interview and others in a written statement."