The issue of so-called “anytime, anywhere” inspections of Iran’s nuclear program came into focus this weekend as U.S. secretaries of state and energy John Kerry and Ernest Moniz, respectively, pitched the recent deal with Iran on major U.S. broadcasters.
In response to the appearances, media analyst group The Israel Project was quick to point out on Monday that a claim by Kerry that the idea of “anytime, anywhere” inspections was never under consideration, was explicitly “false.”
According to The Israel Project, the idea of snap inspections, now herded underneath the “anytime, anywhere” label, goes back to a May 2014 New York Times article by former CIA intelligence analyst and Brookings Institution fellow Kenneth Pollack, which included the line: “[inspectors] need to be able to go anywhere and see anything – immediately.”
The idea addresses concerns that unless around-the-clock access to any of Iran’s potentially suspicious sites is granted to nuclear inspectors, the country is liable to hide its nuclear work or subvert the international agreement.
Kerry said that in his four years negotiating with Iran, he had never heard of “anytime, anywhere” inspections.
“It was not on the table,” he said, although Moniz had told Bloomberg in April that the U.S. would “expect” such inspections in the comprehensive deal.
“There’s no such thing in arms control as anytime, anywhere. There isn’t any nation in the world – none – that has an anytime, anywhere,” Kerry told CBS’s Face the Nation.
Rather than “anywhere, anytime” inspections, as critics of the deal had hoped for, Iran will apparently be able to delay access to suspicious sites for up to 24 days before sanctions could be re-initiated.