Analysis

Geneva Deal’s Fatal Flaw: No Comprehensive Monitoring
IAEA inspectors will be allowed back into Iran, but won't have full access to Iran's nuclear sites (Dean Calma/AP)
November 27, 2013
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
Summary
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Sunday’s interim agreement between world powers and Iran puts constraints on Tehran’s nuclear program and calls for what sounds like an extensive monitoring process. But strict limits will be placed on the activities of visiting inspectors and the credibility of their work will be questioned.
The inspectors, most likely drawn from the Safeguards Directorate of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will have to carry out their duties within parameters set by the agreement. The deal improves on the existing limited and sporadic access to Iranian facilities but falls far short of full access. At best, the inspectors should be able to assess if Iran has carried out its interim commitments at designated facilities. Many unanswered questions will remain about broader aspects of Iran’s program, however. The political question will be whether those measures are sufficient to justify proceeding with a final agreement.
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