With a deadline on U.S.-Iranian nuclear negotiations looming, Tehran has dug in its heels on a vital issue. The Telegraph reports:
Iran will not give UN nuclear inspectors access to a military base outside Tehran that they have been seeking to visit since 2005, defence minister Hossein Dehgan said on Saturday.
Mr Dehgan’s comments come just two days before a deadline for Iran to give its response to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over historic allegations of a military dimension to its nuclear research. […]The base lies at the centre of allegations of past Iranian research into sophisticated explosives that can be used to detonate a nuclear warhead.In his June report, Mr Amano [IAEA director Yukiya Amano] said satellite photographs suggested there had been fresh activity at the base this year.
It’s hard to see a final deal emerging in November if Tehran persists in this stance. Given how many other American interests in the region that the Administration has been willing to put on the back burner to advance these negotiations, it is vital that it figure out whether Iran is negotiating for real or playing for time. This latest news is not an encouraging sign.