The Director of the IAEA, Yukiya Amano, left Capital Hill this week after failing to ease concerns presented by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the concessions in the nuclear deal with Iran.
Amano had been dispatched to convince Senators that private side deals, or “technical arrangements” made between the IAEA and Iran should not concern the US, but in the meeting Amano refused to provide details about confidential arrangements made with Iran to inspect their nuclear facilities.
“I am not authorized to share or discuss confidential information,” Amano said as he refused requests by the Commission to get access to review the IAEA-Iran agreements.
The IAEA Director attempted to pacify the Senators by arguing that the credibility of the IAEA depends on their confidentiality. This argument didn’t sit well with the Committee members, who felt that they should be made aware of the private arrangements related to the integrity of inspections and the viability of the deal prior to approving it.
Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee told reporters after the meeting “most members left here with greater concerns about the inspection regime than they came with.”
Republican Senator Ted Cruz told reporters, “This Obama-Iranian nuclear deal is a bad deal, and it keeps getting worse.”
It seems clear that the nuclear deal should be rejected if Congress is not allowed to find out what was conceded in the side agreements.
Amano’s testimony to the Senate Committee has led some US academics and experts to call for his resignation. Professor William Beeman of the University of Minnesota said, “Honestly, I think Amano needs to step down. He appears to have lost all credibility as an independent administrator of his agency.”