In a closed-door meeting with Senate Republicans on Aug. 5, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) continued to deny the U.S. access to secret documents agreed upon between the United Nations and Iran over the nation’s nuclear energy facilities.
Yukiya Amano, the head of IAEA, met with members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in an attempt to garner support for President Barack Obama’s unpopular deal with Iran. Amano would not reveal the secret side deals that his organization made with Iran that did not include discussions with the United States.
“Imagine if a country provides me with confidential information … and I do not honor the commitment, no country will share information with us and I cannot implement the safeguards,” Amano said to the press after the meeting ended.
If the Iran Nuclear Deal goes through, the IAEA is the United Nations agency that would be in charge monitoring Iran's compliance with the deal's stipulations. Wendy Sherman, the undersecretary of state for political affairs and one of the lead negotiators of the Iran deal, noted that the IAEA's refusal to hand over the documents is standard procedure. She added that the IAEA also keeps confidential information for other countries, including the U.S.
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Despite this, Republicans continue to criticize the organization for not sharing all information obtained from Iran over its nuclear energy capabilities. Members of Congress will vote on the authorization of the Iran deal in September, when they return to the nation’s capital after an August recess. At this time, the vote looks to be close due to many Senate Democrats being unwilling to support Obama’s deal.
Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who was in the closed-door meeting, revealed he remains “very skeptical” of the agreement between the U.S. and Iran.
“This was not a reassuring meeting, but his presence is much appreciated,” Corker said.
“I would say that most members left here with even greater concerns about our ability to carry out these inspections in an appropriate way,” he added.
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Some Senate Democrats remain worried about lenient measures in the deal that largely benefit Iran.
“It was worrisome,” Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey said about the meeting.
Menendez pointed out that Iranian officials previously denied requests by the U.S. to interview six Iranian scientists on the nuclear energy program, The Huffington Post noted.