The Associated Press released the text of the IAEA-Iran side deal concerning the Parchin military base on Thursday, confirming concerns about how verifiable the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will be. The Associated Press revealed on Wednesday that the Iranians would be able to carry out their own inspections at the site, where Iran is believed to have conducted tests related to the detonation of a nuclear weapon. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a press release, “International inspections should be done by international inspectors. Period. The standard of ‘anywhere, anytime’ inspections – so critical for a verifiable agreement – had dropped to ‘when Iran wants, where Iran wants, on Iran’s terms…This is a dangerous farce.” Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who came out against the JCPOA on Tuesday, declared in a speech announcing that decision that having the Iranians provide the samples “would be the equivalent of having an athlete accused of using performance enhancing drugs submit an unsupervised urine sample to the appropriate authority. Chain of custody doesn’t matter when the evidence given to you is prepared by the perpetrator.” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who has not yet made a decision on the deal, has previously expressed unease about the IAEA-Iran side agreements and requested, along with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) that Congress see the documents.
Omri Ceren, Managing Director of The Israel Project, said that, in light of the revelation, he expected a “public backlash, which is exactly what the administration was hoping to avoid. Even lawmakers who have expressed support for the deal may have to reconsider, given how insane it is to let the Iranians police their own nuclear violations.” Olli Heinonen, former Deputy Director-General for Safeguards of the IAEA, stated that he knew of no other instance in which a country under scrutiny was allowed to conduct its own investigation. The president of the Institute for Science and International Security, David Albright, has similarly called this arrangement “unprecedented and risky.” Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, referred to the Iranian self-inspection as “a dangerous precedent and consistent with Iran’s repeated claims that no weapons inspectors will ever get into its military sites.”
The Israeli military said it fired artillery shells at several Syrian targets Thursday evening, hours after four rockets were fired into Israel from across the border, hitting northern Israel and sparking several fires.Media reports in Syria said at least four Israeli shells were fired at Syrian military positions in the Quneitra area in the Syrian Golan. …
The army had earlier blamed Syrian operatives of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group for the rocket attack and said they were receiving orders and finances from Iran.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which threatened Israel earlier this week over the detention of Mohammed Allaan, a suspected member of the group who recently ended a two-month hunger strike, denies the charge.
Arab media reported that a number of casualties, including fatalities, resulted from the Israeli retaliation.
According to the Times, if the rockets had been fired from Syria, it would be the first time since 1973 that there was deliberate fire from the country into Israeli territory.
This Tuesday, during a visit to Israel’s northern border with top military officials, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Iran is sending money to terrorist organizations along Israel’s borders, which “will be used for one stated purpose — to destroy Israel.” Netanyahu cautioned that this funding will only increase as the nuclear deal negotiated between Tehran and the P5+1 powers is implemented and Iran receives billions in sanctions relief.
In April, the IDF struck and killed four infiltrators from Syria who were attempting to plant a bomb at the Israel-Syria border.
In January, Israel reportedly hit a convoy carrying high-ranking Hezbollah and Iranian military officials, killing Hezbollah commander Jihad Mughniyeh and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi. A Hezbollah cross-border attack killed two IDF soldiers patrolling the Israel-Lebanon border a week and a half later. (via TheTower.org)