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Iran Nuclear Plan: Detailed Factsheet

The following document was released by the State Department Press Office on April 2, 2015 following nuclear talks between Iran and the world’s six major powers.

Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program
Below are the key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program that were decided in Lausanne, Switzerland. These elements form the foundation upon which the final text of the JCPOA will be written between now and June 30, and reflect the significant progress that has been made in discussions between the P5+1, the European Union, and Iran. Important implementation details are still subject to negotiation, and nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. We will work to conclude the JCPOA based on these parameters over the coming months.
• Iran has agreed to reduce by approximately two-thirds its installed centrifuges. Iran will go from having about 19,000 installed today to 6,104 installed under the deal, with only 5,060 of these enriching uranium for 10 years. All 6,104 centrifuges will be IR-1s, Iran’s first-generation centrifuge.
• Iran has agreed to not enrich uranium over 3.67 percent for at least 15 years.
• Iran has agreed to reduce its current stockpile of about 10,000 kg of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to 300 kg of 3.67 percent LEU for 15 years.
• All excess centrifuges and enrichment infrastructure will be placed in IAEA monitored storage and will be used only as replacements for operating centrifuges and equipment.
• Iran has agreed to not build any new facilities for the purpose of enriching uranium for 15 years.
• Iran’s breakout timeline – the time that it would take for Iran to acquire enough fissile material for one weapon – is currently assessed to be 2 to 3 months. That timeline will be extended to at least one year, for a duration of at least ten years, under this framework.
Iran will convert its facility at Fordow so that it is no longer used to enrich uranium
• Iran has agreed to not enrich uranium at its Fordow facility for at least 15 years.
• Iran has agreed to convert its Fordow facility so that it is used for peaceful purposes only – into a nuclear, physics, technology, research center.
• Iran has agreed to not conduct research and development associated with uranium enrichment at Fordow for 15 years.
• Iran will not have any fissile material at Fordow for 15 years. 2
• Almost two-thirds of Fordow’s centrifuges and infrastructure will be removed. The remaining centrifuges will not enrich uranium. All centrifuges and related infrastructure will be placed under IAEA monitoring.
Iran will only enrich uranium at the Natanz facility, with only 5,060 IR-1 first-generation centrifuges for ten years.
• Iran has agreed to only enrich uranium using its first generation (IR-1 models) centrifuges at Natanz for ten years, removing its more advanced centrifuges.
• Iran will remove the 1,000 IR-2M centrifuges currently installed at Natanz and place them in IAEA monitored storage for ten years.
• Iran will not use its IR-2, IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, or IR-8 models to produce enriched uranium for at least ten years. Iran will engage in limited research and development with its advanced centrifuges, according to a schedule and parameters which have been agreed to by the P5+1.
• For ten years, enrichment and enrichment research and development will be limited to ensure a breakout timeline of at least 1 year. Beyond 10 years, Iran will abide by its enrichment and enrichment R&D plan submitted to the IAEA, and pursuant to the JCPOA, under the Additional Protocol resulting in certain limitations on enrichment capacity.
Inspections and Transparency
• The IAEA will have regular access to all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, including to Iran’s enrichment facility at Natanz and its former enrichment facility at Fordow, and including the use of the most up-to-date, modern monitoring technologies.
• Inspectors will have access to the supply chain that supports Iran’s nuclear program. The new transparency and inspections mechanisms will closely monitor materials and/or components to prevent diversion to a secret program.
• Inspectors will have access to uranium mines and continuous surveillance at uranium mills, where Iran produces yellowcake, for 25 years.
• Inspectors will have continuous surveillance of Iran’s centrifuge rotors and bellows production and storage facilities for 20 years. Iran’s centrifuge manufacturing base will be frozen and under continuous surveillance.
• All centrifuges and enrichment infrastructure removed from Fordow and Natanz will be placed under continuous monitoring by the IAEA.
• A dedicated procurement channel for Iran’s nuclear program will be established to monitor and approve, on a case by case basis, the supply, sale, or transfer to Iran of 3 certain nuclear-related and dual use materials and technology – an additional transparency measure.
• Iran has agreed to implement the Additional Protocol of the IAEA, providing the IAEA much greater access and information regarding Iran’s nuclear program, including both declared and undeclared facilities.
• Iran will be required to grant access to the IAEA to investigate suspicious sites or allegations of a covert enrichment facility, conversion facility, centrifuge production facility, or yellowcake production facility anywhere in the country.
• Iran has agreed to implement Modified Code 3.1 requiring early notification of construction of new facilities.
• Iran will implement an agreed set of measures to address the IAEA’s concerns regarding the Possible Military Dimensions (PMD) of its program.
Reactors and Reprocessing
• Iran has agreed to redesign and rebuild a heavy water research reactor in Arak, based on a design that is agreed to by the P5+1, which will not produce weapons grade plutonium, and which will support peaceful nuclear research and radioisotope production.
• The original core of the reactor, which would have enabled the production of significant quantities of weapons-grade plutonium, will be destroyed or removed from the country.
• Iran will ship all of its spent fuel from the reactor out of the country for the reactor’s lifetime.
• Iran has committed indefinitely to not conduct reprocessing or reprocessing research and development on spent nuclear fuel.
• Iran will not accumulate heavy water in excess of the needs of the modified Arak reactor, and will sell any remaining heavy water on the international market for 15 years.
• Iran will not build any additional heavy water reactors for 15 years.
• Iran will receive sanctions relief, if it verifiably abides by its commitments.
• U.S. and E.U. nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps. If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, these sanctions will snap back into place.
• The architecture of U.S. nuclear-related sanctions on Iran will be retained for much of the duration of the deal and allow for snap-back of sanctions in the event of significant non-performance.
• All past UN Security Council resolutions on the Iran nuclear issue will be lifted simultaneous with the completion, by Iran, of nuclear-related actions addressing all key concerns (enrichment, Fordow, Arak, PMD, and transparency).
• However, core provisions in the UN Security Council resolutions – those that deal with transfers of sensitive technologies and activities – will be re-established by a new UN Security Council resolution that will endorse the JCPOA and urge its full implementation. It will also create the procurement channel mentioned above, which will serve as a key transparency measure. Important restrictions on conventional arms and ballistic missiles, as well as provisions that allow for related cargo inspections and asset freezes, will also be incorporated by this new resolution.
• A dispute resolution process will be specified, which enables any JCPOA participant, to seek to resolve disagreements about the performance of JCPOA commitments
 • If an issue of significant non-performance cannot be resolved through that process, then all previous UN sanctions could be re-imposed.
• U.S. sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missiles will remain in place under the deal.
• For ten years, Iran will limit domestic enrichment capacity and research and development – ensuring a breakout timeline of at least one year. Beyond that, Iran will be bound by its longer-term enrichment and enrichment research and development plan it shared with the P5+1.
• For fifteen years, Iran will limit additional elements of its program. For instance, Iran will not build new enrichment facilities or heavy water reactors and will limit its stockpile of enriched uranium and accept enhanced transparency procedures. • Important inspections and transparency measures will continue well beyond 15 years. Iran’s adherence to the Additional Protocol of the IAEA is permanent, including its significant access and transparency obligations. The robust inspections of Iran’s uranium supply chain will last for 25 years. • Even after the period of the most stringent limitations on Iran’s nuclear program, Iran will remain a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which prohibits Iran’s development or acquisition of nuclear weapons and requires IAEA safeguards on its nuclear program.


Click here for a PDF version.


Nuclear Talks: Congressional Reaction

The following are statements by U.S. lawmakers on the latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and the world’s six major powers that began on March 26 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 
“We appreciate the diligent efforts to find a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. However, it is clear the negotiations are not going well. At every step, the Iranians appear intent on retaining the capacity to achieve a nuclear weapon. Without significant change, we have little confidence the negotiations will end well.
“Regardless of the outcome, Iran’s threat to regional security and stability endures. Any hope that a nuclear deal will lead Iran to abandon its decades-old pursuit of regional dominance through violence and terror is simply delusional. The Obama Administration’s failure to recognize and counter this threat has only served to expand Iranian influence.”
—April 1, 2015 in a joint statement

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH)
“I have one goal. That goal is to make sure that the American people heard and the Congress heard about the serious threat that Iran poses not only to the Middle East but for the rest of the world including the United States… The president doesn't want to talk about it. Doesn't want to talk about the threat of radical Islam and the fact that he has no strategy to deal with it.”
—March 29, 2015 on CNN’s “State of the Union

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
“If today’s news report from Lausanne is true, we are not inching closer to Iran’s negotiating position, but leaping toward it with both feet. We have pivoted away from demanding the closure of Fordow when the negotiations began, to considering its conversion into a research facility, to now allowing hundreds of centrifuges to spin at this underground bunker site where centrifuges could be quickly repurposed for illicit nuclear enrichment purposes. My fear is that we are no longer guided by the principle that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal,’ but instead we are negotiating ‘any deal for a deal’s sake’.  
“An undue amount of trust and faith is being placed in a negotiating partner that has spent decades deceiving the international community; denying the International Atomic Energy Agency access to its facilities; refusing to answer questions about its nuclear-related military activities; and all the while, actively destabilizing the region from Lebanon to Syria to Iraq to Yemen. A good deal must meet our primary negotiating objective – curtailing Iran’s current and future ability to achieve nuclear weapons capability. If the best deal Iran will give us does not achieve this goal, it is not a good deal for the United States or its partners. A good deal won’t leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state.”
— March 26, 2015 in a statement
Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR)
“The decision to extend the nuclear negotiations in the face of Iranian intransigence and duplicity proves once again that Iran is calling the shots. Just weeks ago President Obama said ‘I don’t see a further extension being useful.’  And today the State Department admitted that ‘there are several difficult issues still remaining’ in the negotiations. Given the dangerous concessions by the Obama administration over the past week, one can only imagine what further concessions it will make in the next 24 hours to resolve these issues.
“The best solution is walk away from the nuclear negotiations now and return to a position of strength. We should reinstate existing sanctions suspended under the Joint Plan of Action and Congress should act immediately to impose new sanctions.  It’s time for the United States to regain the upper hand and quit negotiating out of weakness.”
—March 31, 2015 in a statement
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)
“It’s an arbitrary deadline first [March 31]. So, let’s understand that if there’s progress being made, there’s absolutely no reason why you wouldn’t extend the talks at least a day. And, of course, this is a deadline to get a frame work. The talks have actually been extended through June.

“And so, all of the Obama administration has outlined a deal by the end of March, and then they’ll have to work on the details. But, of course, we should give them more time because the stakes are enormous. I mean, what you have are Republicans cheerleading for war.

“The consequence of the United States walking away from these negotiations and maybe we’ll ultimately have to do that is really a military option. We won’t be able to put the sanctions back together as effectively as we had them in the first place.

“I think Senator Cotton made it pretty clear that he thinks that the best option ultimately is for the United States to use military intervention in order to disabuse Iran of any future nuclear weapons program. I don’t think that everybody who signed that letter, all 47 of them, believe that that’s the case, but there’s certainly an element of the Republican Party that views American international power solely through a military lens. Just doesn’t see any use for negotiations.”
—March 31, 2015 on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes”

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

"The longer the Obama Administration stays at the negotiating table with Iran, the more concessions they make...We have recently learned Tehran is insisting on sanctions relief before IAEA inspectors are given full access to inspect potential military elements of the nuclear program; that Tehran will continue enrichment activities at military facilities; and that Tehran plans to retain its entire nuclear stockpile rather than relinquish any of it to outside countries. And now the commander of the Basij militia of Iran's Revolutionary Guards has reportedly said that ‘erasing Israel off the map' is ‘nonnegotiable.' Enough is enough. The Obama Administration's bad deal is only getting worse with time. Iran's nuclear build-up profoundly endangers the security of America and our allies."
—April 1, 2015 in a press release

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)

"[Parameters of the deal] have to be fairly specific if the administration is going to get us to June 30th, and that's the challenge that they face."

"I don't think that we need to press on any particular date...The real date that makes all the difference is at the end of June."

"If we put too much pressure on ourselves to get a deal within 12 hours or 24 hours, that works in Iran's favor."

"A lot will depend on whether this is part of a deal that Congress views as a good deal. I think if Congress comes to the conclusion this is not a good deal — the administration has given too much, Iran has given too little — then you will see additional legislation that attempts to tie the president's hands."
If critical issues are not ironed out, "then the president will have a hard time holding Congress back from additional action.” 

—April 1, 2015 on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports"

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC)


Rep. Roger Williams

Amnesty Report: Iran Death Penalties

In 2014, Iranian authorities announced 289 executions, “but hundreds more were carried out which were not officially acknowledged,” according to a new report by Amnesty International. The organization estimated that at least 454 unannounced executions were carried out in the Islamic Republic. China carried out more executions than the rest of the world put together, but the other countries making up the top five executioners were Iran, Saudi Arabia (at least 90 executions), Iraq (at least 61) and the United States (35). The following is an excerpt from the report on Iran.  

Iran carried out the most executions in the region (Middle East) in 2014. Iranian authorities or state-controlled or state-sanctioned media officially announced 289 executions (278 men and 11 women). However, reliable sources reported at least 454 more executions in addition to those officially announced, bringing the total number of executions in 2014 to at least 743. Of those officially announced, 122 involved individuals convicted of drug-related offences and 29 were carried out in public. At least 81 death sentences were imposed. This figure included those that were officially announced and those that were not. In addition, at least 22 commutations were granted while at least 81 people were on death row at the end of the year.
During the year, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic
Republic of Iran expressed concern about the continued high rate of executions and use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders in Iran.
Amnesty International received reports that Iran executed at least 14 people who were under 18 at the time of the crime. In December, the Supreme Court issued a “pilot judgment” ruling that all individuals currently on death row for crimes committed while they were under the age of 18 can submit judicial review requests to the Supreme Court pursuant to Article 91 of the revised Islamic Penal Code. The revised Penal Code allows the execution of juvenile offenders under qesas (retribution-in-kind) and hodoud (offences and punishments for which there are fixed penalties under Islamic law) crimes, unless the juvenile offender is found to have not understood the nature of the crime or its consequences, or if there are doubts about the offender’s mental capacity. The use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders is strictly prohibited under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; Iran is a party to both International human rights treaties.
Iran continued to carry out executions in secret. Hadi Rashedi and Hashem Sha’bani Nejad, of the Ahwazi Arab minority, were executed in secret in January 2014, following an unfair trial in 2012 which resulted in them being convicted of “enmity against God” and “corruption on earth.” The authorities did not tell their families when they were executed and refused to hand over their bodies for burial.
Death sentences were generally imposed following trials that fell short of international fair trial standards. Defendants often had no access to lawyers during pre-trial investigations, and courts generally dismissed allegations of torture and admitted as evidence “confessions” obtained under torture.
Reyhaneh Jabbari was executed on 25 October in Raja’i Shahr Prison, in Karaj near Tehran, for the killing of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former employee of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. Reyhaneh Jabbari was arrested in 2007 and admitted the stabbing immediately after arrest. She said she had acted in self defence, after he had tried to sexually abuse her. Following her arrest, she was held in solitary confinement for two months in Tehran’s Evin Prison, where she did not have access to a lawyer or her family. She was sentenced to death under qesas by a criminal court in Tehran in 2009. The death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court the same year. Sentences of Qesas are not open to pardon or amnesty by the Supreme Leader.
Iranian courts continued to sentence people to death for crimes that did not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes” and crimes not recognizably criminal offences under international human rights law.
Soheil Arabi was sentenced to death on 30 August by a criminal court in Tehran for “insulting the Prophet of Islam” (sabbo al-nabbi). The charge was based on postings he made on eight Facebook accounts, which the authorities said belonged to him. The Supreme Court upheld the sentence on 24 November. Soheil Arabi had been arrested in November 2013 by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and spent two months in solitary confinement in section 2A of Tehran’s Evin Prison, which is under the control of the IRGC. During interrogation, he was pressured into making a “confession”.
Earlier in February 2014, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of another man, Rouhollah Tavana, for “insulting the Prophet of Islam” in a video clip. He had been sentenced to death on 3 August 2013 by a criminal court in Khorasan.
In December, the threat of execution was used to punish some death row inmates. The authorities threatened to expedite the execution of 10 men, including a juvenile offender, for going on hunger strike. The men were among 24 prisoners from Iran’s Kurdish minority who started a hunger strike on 20 November in protest at the conditions of Ward 12 of Oroumieh Central Prison, West Azerbaijan Province, where political prisoners are held. The juvenile offender, Saman Naseem, was sentenced to death following an unfair trial in 2013 on the charges of “enmity against God” and “corruption on earth” for his alleged membership of the armed opposition group, Party For Free Life of Kurdistan, and engaging in armed activities against the state. Saman Naseem was 17 at the time of the alleged offences.
Click here for the full report.

Poll: Iranians See Economy Improving

Iranians believe economic conditions have improved since sanctions were eased under the Joint Plan of Action in November 2013, according to a new Gallup poll. In May 2013, 62 percent of Iranians said sanctions hurt their livelihood "a great deal," but only 45 percent gave the same response in November 2014. The following are key findings from the poll.

Fewer Iranians See Sanctions Hurting a "Great Deal"

The United Nations, the U.S., and Western Europe continue to impose sanctions on Iran. Do you think these sanctions have hurt the livelihood of Iranians a great deal, somewhat, or not at all?

May 2013
November 2014
A great deal
Not at all


Fewer Iranians See Sanctions Hurting Them Personally

Have these sanctions personally hurt your livelihood a great deal, hurt it somewhat, or have they not hurt your livelihood at all?

May 2013
November 2014
A great deal
Not at all


The poll also found that more Iranians believe the economy and living standards are improving.




Click here for more information on the poll

Polls: Americans Support Nuke Talks

The following are excerpts from five recent polls, four of which found that more Americans approve of nuclear talks with Iran than disapprove. One poll found that more Americans disapprove than approve of President Barack Obama’s general handling of Iran relations. Two of the surveys were conducted just days before the March 31 deadline for a preliminary political agreement between Iran and the world’s six major powers.
Washington Post-ABC News
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 59 percent of American support an agreement in which the United States and other major world powers lift major sanctions in return for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program. The survey, conducted March 26-29, also showed that 31 percent oppose such a deal. Support outpaced opposition across nearly all demographic and political groups. Republicans were split. Some 47 percent supported a deal and 43 percent opposed.
But nearly six in 10 Americans were not confident that a deal will prevent Tehran from attaining nuclear weapons. The following is the breakdown of confidence in an agreement:
  • Very confident: 4 percent
  • Somewhat confident: 33 percent
  • Not so confident: 26 percent
  • Not confident at all: 34 percent
  • No opinion: 3 percent
Click here for more information on the poll.
Pew Research Center
More Americans approve than disapprove of Washington negotiating directly with Tehran over its nuclear program, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. But the majority do not think Iranian leaders are “serious” about addressing the international community’s concerns over Iran’s nuclear program. The results (left) are from the poll, conducted March 25-29. 
CBS News
A CBS News poll conducted March 21-24 found that more Americans disapprove than approve of President Barack Obama’s handling of Iran relations. 

Some 45 percent of Americans think Iran’s nuclear program can be contained for now. Another 29 percent think military action is now required to remove the threat.

Click here for the full results. 

CNN and ORC International

Americans broadly support direct negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program, according to a new poll by CNN and ORC International. But they are split across party lines regarding the open letter to Iran’s leaders signed by 47 Republican senators. The letter warned that a nuclear deal signed during President Barack Obama’s tenure could be revoked by the next president or modified by a future Congress. The following are key results from the survey, which was conducted March 13-15.

• 68 percent of Americans support direct negotiations, including 77 percent of Democrats, 65 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of independents
• 29 percent oppose direct negotiations
• 49 percent say the letter sent by 47 Republican senators to Iran’s leaders went too far, including 67 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of independents
• 39 percent say the GOP letter was an appropriate response to the way negotiations were going, including 52 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of independents
• 18 percent think the GOP letter helped U.S. efforts to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons while 32 percent think the letter hurt those efforts
  • 44 percent say the letter had no impact on negotiations
Click here for more information.
University of Maryland 

The majority of Americans favor a potential nuclear deal with Iran, according to a new survey by Shibley Telhami and Steven Kull in the Program for Public Consultation and the Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland. More than 60 percent of respondents support a deal that would limit Iran’s enrichment capacity and impose inspections in exchange for lifting some sanctions. The poll was conducted February 19-25, with a sample of 710 adults.The following are excerpted key findings from the poll.

"In this survey a representative sample of Americans were presented the two primary options that have dominated this debate:
· For the US to continue to pursue an agreement that would accept some enrichment by Iran, but with substantial limits that would preclude Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, and intrusive inspections to ensure those limits are met, in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions.
· For the US to not accept any Iranian enrichment. Instead, the US would continue trying to get other nations to impose new economic sanctions in an effort to persuade Iran to cease enrichment completely.
While majorities found arguments for both options at least somewhat convincing, when asked to make their final recommendation, a clear majority of 61% recommended making a deal with Iran that would include a limited enrichment capacity for Iran. This included 61% of Republicans, 66% of Democrats and 54% of independents. The alternative of increasing sanctions in an effort to get Iran to stop all uranium enrichment was endorsed by 36%."
"Majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents all made this same judgment. Republicans chose continuing negotiations by 61 to 35%, while Democrats favored it by 66 to 32%. A relatively more modest majority of Independents favored a deal by 54 to 42%.
This response was essentially the same as when PPC took respondents through the exact same process and found 61% favored a deal and 35% favored pursuing sanctions. Partisan variations were not significantly different. In the current survey, among the 9% of the sample who identified themselves as very sympathetic to the Tea Party, a plurality of 46% favored pursuing a deal with 41% opposed. Those somewhat sympathetic to the Tea Party were no different from the sample as a whole.
Among those who watch Fox News daily (13% of sample) views were divided, rising to 55% in favor of a deal for those who watch it 2-3 times a week. There was no significant effect for watching MSNBC.
The strongest effect was among those who watch a Christian news network at least 2-3 times a week or more. Among this group only 26% favored a deal while 58% favored pursuing sanctions.
Respondents were also asked what they thought the effect of making a deal would have on the fight against the Islamic State. A majority of 63% said it would make no difference, but more (23%) said it would help, than said it would hurt (13%). Partisan differences were insignificant.
Click here for the full report


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