India’s World – Iran Nuclear Deal sealed
After negotiations lasting two years, Iran and six world powers have agreed on the broad parameters of Nuclear Deal. The final agreement will be worked out by June end. The deal permits Iran a limited nuclear enrichment capability but subjects its nuclear program to an inclusive inspection regime. Iran in turn will get relief from global sanctions if it demonstrates compliance with the deal.
Highlights of the deal:
- Natanz will be the only Iranian facility allowed to carry out nuclear enrichment.
- The deep underground Fordow uranium enrichment site will be converted into a nuclear research facility.
- Iran will be allowed to continue Uranium Enrichment in limited amounts with all spent fuel shipped out of the country.
- The Arak heavy water reactor of Iran, which is under construction, will be redesigned so that no Plutonium is produced at this site. There will not be any reprocessing.
- All sites would come under the heavy inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The US president has claimed that the deal cuts out every way for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon and establishes a more intrusive inspection regime. Iran and the six world powers (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), known as the P5+1, reached the agreement after three rounds of talks with Tehran’s new negotiating team.
Talks that led to a breakthrough interim agreement, known as the Geneva Accord, began in February 2013. Prior to that there had been numerous unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a deal with Iran since 2002 when Iranian dissident groups raised the alarm over the country’s nuclear programme by revealing the existence of two facilities that had not been declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog.
The first-phase agreement lays out specific actions for Iran and the P5+1 to take over the course of six months and sets the goal of reaching a “comprehensive agreement” during that time. The first-phase agreement can be extended beyond six months if the parties agree to do that. The six-month time period will begin once the verification and enforcement mechanisms have been established, including creation of a joint committee to monitor implementation of the agreement. Implementation will begin after the committee is set up.
According to the deal, Iran is also required to eliminate its stockpile of uranium enriched to 20% and maintain its stockpile of 3.5%-enriched uranium at its current size. Over the next six months, Iran is to convert the 3.5%-enriched uranium that it produces to a form less suitable for further enrichment. Iran says it produces uranium enriched to 20% to fuel its research reactor and to 3.5% for power reactors that it plans to build in the future. Iran’s stockpile of 20 %-enriched uranium is a primary concern for the P5+1 because it can be more easily enriched to weapons grade. The deal could also serve Israeli interests in the short term because the increased monitoring and access could give a clearer picture of the state of the program.
The final agreement would include practical limits and transparency measures for Iran’s enrichment program. It would lift sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program imposed by individual countries, the European Union, and the UN Security Council and would provide for international cooperation on civilian nuclear projects, including nuclear fuel and light-water power and research reactors.