In a briefing in Jerusalem, the National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz slammed the mechanism in place that gives Iran a 24 day advanced notice of inspections to its nuclear program.
“Actually, you have here a mechanism that instead of serving the inspection is serving the deception,” Steinitz stated.
According to the nuclear deal, Iran will have the ability to conceal any illicit nuclear activity before opening up its nuclear sites to inspectors. Steinitz charged that the advanced notice renders inspections, and therefore the agreement, useless.
Steinitz, a member of Israel’s security cabinet, is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s unofficial point person on the Iran deal. While Israel is satisfied with surveillance measures to be put in place at uranium enrichment facilities Fordo and Natanz, the minister said inspections at top-secret Iranian military sites will not keep Iran in check.
“Unfortunately, when you examine the details, you discover that the inspection [mechanism for undeclared military sites] is actually just a mirage,” he said.
Should intelligence agencies produce evidence that Iran was violating the agreement, inspectors would be powerless to conduct surprise visits. Rather, according to Steinitz, inspectors will need to “provide Iran the basis for such concerns and request clarification.”
“This is not just a worthless inspection method — it serves the Iranians. It’s backfiring. It’s counterproductive. It’s better to have an agreement without it,” Steinitz said.
With Israel, Saudi Arabia and Gulf states vehemently opposed to the nuclear agreement, Steinitz called Western powers “naïve” in signing a deal with the world’s largest sponsor of international terrorism.
“Israel is like the little child that is pointing its finger and saying, ‘The king is naked, this agreement is naked,’” Steinitz said. “Those who think that giving Iran $150 billion will have no effect on the Middle East are naive,” he added. “It’s like pouring fuel on the burning Middle East.”
Echoing Steinitz’s comments, Netanyahu called the inspection mechanism “absurd.” During a speech to the Knesset, the prime minister states “It’s like giving a criminal organization that deals drugs a 24-day warning before inspecting its drug lab.”
“The agreement also requires the world powers to do something else — they must show Iran the very intelligence for which they want to conduct the inspections in the first place.”