Iran footprint in Syria may be to hide nukes from IAEA

A major purpose of Iran wanting to enlarge its footprint in Syria may be to hide aspects of its nuclear program from the International Atomic Energy Agency, former top IDF military intelligence official Yossi Kuperwasser said Wednesday.

Speaking at a Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs conference on the Iran nuclear situation, Brig. Gen. (ret.) Kuperwasser noted that IAEA inspectors are limited to inspecting Iran’s territory.

He made the comment as he discussed the fact that the Iran nuclear deal lacked granting IAEA inspectors complete access to Iranian scientists.

Based on that limited access, Kuperwasser said Iran could move and conceal its nuclear scientists and various nuclear activities in Syria.

Earlier at the same conference, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said that he believed the current US sanctions would succeed at getting Iran to make further compromises regarding its nuclear program and overall behavior because “in six to 12 months, the [economic] situation in Iran will be extremely grave.”

Steinitz said that the key to understanding how Iran will respond to the current US economic pressure was to understand that even as the US is acting alone, it secondary sanctions could be even more suffocating for Iran’s economy than prior UN sanctions which most of the world signed on to.

He was pressed afterward by The Jerusalem Post about whether the EU’s retaliatory sanctions and vow to prop up any of its companies who continue business with Iran as well as the Trump administration’s trade wars would limit US sanctions’ impact.

The energy minister responded that he was less concerned about EU actions to prop up the agreement, but was concerned that if the Trump trade wars were drawn out for a long time that this could reduce the power of US secondary sanctions.

Quite simply, he explained that if EU, Chinese and other foreign companies were already being limited from access to the US economy by broader trade war issues, that they would not view Iran-related sanctions as causing them new damage.

Source » jpost

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