Iran Nuclear Talks: How IAEA Nuclear Weapons Inspections Actually Work

The outline of an Iran deal has been struck. And, as expected, the International Atomic Energy Agency will serve as the lynchpin of this historic diplomatic breakthrough.

According to the agreement reached in Lausanne, Switzerland the level of access that IAEA inspectors receive and the nuclear activities they report will verify whether or not Iran is complying with its agreement to limit its nuclear enrichment capacities. In other words, IAEA inspectors are the boots on the ground that can make this deal work, or not.

But who are these inspectors? What do they do? What can’t they do?

In anticipation of today’s news, I spoke with former IAEA inspector Thomas Shea who offers a grounds-eye view of what a robust inspection regime looks like. Dr. Shea also puts the potential inspections of Iran’s program in the broader context of the IAEA’s history of working on behalf of international peace and security.

This episode gives you an excellent perspective of how these inspections actually work. Like what you hear? Subscribe on iTunes or get the app.