The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an international agreement designed to curb Iran’s nuclear program, outlined the process by which Iranian nuclear sites are meant to be inspected. However, under a separate side agreement, one not shared with U.S. policymakers, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will allow Iran to inspect its own military site at Parchin, where nuclear weapons development has occurred in the past.
Supporters of the deal contend that IAEA would never have agreed to this protocol unless it could secure a sound inspection and verification regime to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Opponents of the JCPOA argue that it is a much more significant issue, compromise with Iran over the Parchin military site undermines both IAEA and the overall effectiveness of the deal. Worse yet, say critics, the Parchin side deal may establish a precedent for future agreements kept secret and withheld from the American public and its elected representatives.
On Friday, September 11, Hudson Institute hosted a timely panel discussion on the separate arrangements between Iran and IAEA and what they mean for the efficacy of the JCPOA. Moderated by Hudson Senior Fellow Lee Smith, the panel featured David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security, Omri Ceren of the Israel Project, and Hudson’s Michael Doran.