Statement released by the Iran Project, April 6, 2015:
We welcome the announcement that the U.S. government and other major world powers have reached a framework accord to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
This achievement is the result of the sustained effort of the Foreign Ministers of seven governments spanning nearly 18 months, to put in place a set of constraints and inspections that would limit Iran’s nuclear program to peaceful purposes.
While technical details are still to be fully resolved, important U.S. objectives have been achieved:
- uranium enrichment only at the Natanz plant and no enrichment at the underground facility at Fordow;
- prohibition of the Arak heavy water research reactor from producing weapons grade plutonium or reprocessing to recover plutonium from spent fuel;
- a reduction and then a limit on Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium to 300 KG for 15 years; broad and sweeping inspections and other constraints;
- a two-thirds reduction in installed centrifuges for ten years; a range of limitations and inspections that will be in force over a 10-25 year period and some permanent inspections of the program.
We recognize that full evaluation must await a final comprehensive agreement. Important, difficult, and ambiguous issues still remain. Their resolution will be key to the solidity of the final agreement and its support in this country. They include:
- what means will be used to limit the stockpile of Iran’s enriched uranium to 300 Kg of LEU for 15 years;
- how the existing UNSC resolutions sanctioning Iran will be replaced by a resolution or resolutions that creates an approved procurement channel and places restrictions on conventional arms and ballistic missiles;
- what will be the set of measures that will address the IAEA’s concerns regarding the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s program;
- what scale of uranium enrichment will be possible for Iran after ten years;
- what will be the relationship between the lifting of sanctions and Iran’s performance;
- what is the system for evaluating the severity of violations of the agreement and how would they trigger the snap-back of sanctions.
The framework will be examined and interpreted differently in the United States and Iran over the next three months. These negotiations have been among the most complex diplomatic efforts in recent history. Nevertheless, we believe the framework represents important progress toward our goal of blocking an Iranian nuclear weapon. Continue reading