US State Department declares Parchin military base not a nuke site
Responding to reports of construction at the Parchin military base, State Department spokesman John Kirby said that constructing an addition to one of the buildings was allowed because the site is a "conventional military site, not a nuclear site."
This is another flip-flop by the Obama administration, who had been insisting for years that Parchin may have conducted tests as recently as 2010 related to a nuclear explosive. And of course, giving Parchin a clean bill of health before the IAEA even has a chance to examine the samples that will be collected by Iranian scientists is ludicrous.
For over a decade, the IAEA has sought answers to a set list of questions regarding the possible military dimensions of Iran's past nuclear work. The agency agreed on a "road-map" with Iran last month toward that end and hopes to conclude its inquiry by the end of the year.
Theoretically, the inquiry is intended to conclude whether the site is conventional or nuclear in nature.
If the investigation concludes to the satisfaction of the IAEA, Iran will begin receiving its sanctions relief, and the broader Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action— the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal— will go into effect.
There is a Kabuki dance being performed by the international community as they go through the motions of deliberating and signing off on the agreement. Even the IAEA is now in the tank for the deal, eschewing any semblance of independent verification in favor of hurrying the process of certifying Iran to be compliant with the terms of the agreement.
This is clear to Democratic lawmakers, who now have no reason at all to go against their president and vote the deal down. They realize that even if by some miracle Congress refuses to OK the agreement, it will move forward anyway as if they didn't even exist. Why risk your political career if it's a done deal anyway?
Republicans should call out this charade and boycott the vote. It's about as meaningful as voting to name a new post office in Ohio after John Boehner. Better to refuse to become part of this stage-managed soap opera than be seen participating in it.