U.S. says IAEA access to Iran facilities is unprecedented

When the Joint Plan of Action is implemented on January 20, the International Atomic Energy Agency will have unprecedented access to Iran's nuclear sites, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks on Monday during her daily press briefing. Harf discussed the new measures of verification, transparency and monitoring that will go into effect on January 20 when the Joint Plan of Action with Iran is implemented. She said the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog would have more access than ever before to Iran's nuclear facilities.

"We are going to have the most access we've ever had to these sites - daily inspector access at Natanz and Fordow, monthly inspector access at Arak," Harf said. "Both of these are much more frequent than we've ever had in the past. The IAEA is taking the lead on verifying and confirming what the Iranians have committed to do under the Joint Plan of Action."

When asked how the State Department would stave off lawmakers in Congress who are arguing for increased sanctions against Iran, Harf said the U.S. should avoid doing anything to derail the concrete and tangible progress being made.

"We have a long way to go, but no one should do anything that could possibly derail that process," Harf said. "This is the best chance we've had for a diplomatic resolution forever to the Iranian nuclear program. And who knows when we'll get this chance again?"