United States Institute of Peace

The Iran Primer

Civil Society For a Deal but Doubtful Impact

On June 22, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran reported that civil society broadly backs nuclear diplomacy, but is skeptical about how a deal might change either the political or economic environment at home. The following are highlights of the study, with a link to the report “High Hopes, Tempered Expectations: Views from Iran on the Nuclear Negotiations,”

Civil society in Iran remains steadfast and unequivocal in its support for the nuclear negotiations, and its members hope for an agreement that will end years of sanctions and isolation, according to a new study by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Expectations of the benefits of an accord to Iran’s economy and for political and cultural freedoms in the country, however, are more measured, reflecting uncertainties regarding the Rouhani administration’s ability to translate the lifting of sanctions into gains for ordinary Iranians.
 
“Iranian civil society has spoken, and they want peace and re-engagement with the world,” said Hadi Ghaemi, Executive Director of the Campaign. “If an accord is reached, the world must stand by the people of Iran in their next endeavor: the realization of their basic rights and freedoms.” Among the key findings in the 34-page study:
 
  • The respondents were unanimous in their support for an accord and in the belief that failure to reach an agreement would result in economic disaster, increased political and cultural repression, and possibly war.
     
  • Seventy-one percent of respondents expect economic benefits from an accord, but one-fifth of those fear these benefits could be lost to ordinary Iranians due to governmental mismanagement.
     
  • Twenty-five percent of all respondents expect any economic benefits to reach only the wealthy and connected, due to entrenched corruption.
     
  • Sixty-one percent believe a deal would enable political and cultural reforms, as a politically strengthened Rouhani administration could now turn its focus to such issues.
     
  • Thirty-six percent expected no improvement in political or cultural freedoms, citing either Rouhani’s lack of authority or his willingness given his meager record over the past two years.
  •  
“Evident throughout these interviews is a nation longing for a relief from the threat of war and thirsty for reform,” said Ghaemi, “Hope of achieving this has seemed to bring the first cracks of light into a collective consciousness in Iran that has been remarkably black for years.”The study’s findings contrasted with the Campaign’s July 2014 study of Iranian civil society’s views on the talks, indicating that since that time, for many, there is a growing gulf between what they hope for and what they expect.
 
A significant portion of the respondents questioned the Rouhani’s administration’s ability to shepherd the country back to economic health even if an accord is reached, questioning either its managerial competency or its ability to confront rampant corruption and powerful vested interests committed to maintaining the current economic structure.
 
Others questioned Rouhani’s willingness to enact economic, political, or cultural reforms, noting with dismay his lack of authority in the country and his meager record over the last two years even in areas under his direct control. Despite these fears—and the fact that this is a nation scarred by eight years of mismanagement, corruption, and repression under the former Ahmadinejad administration, the toughest sanctions regime that the international community as imposed on a country to date, and two years of little change under a president who was elected on a platform of reform—there was palpable sense of hope ran through the interviews.
 
“We are a society that wants to live with the rest of the world. We want to be connected to the entire world. These conditions of isolation from the rest of the world are intolerable,” said the Novelist Aboutorab Khosravi. Reflecting a sentiment held strongly by every respondent, the lawyer Nemat Ahmadi put it most succinctly: “People hope that when they wake up on the morning of July 1, they would hear that an agreement has been reached.” 
 
Click here for the full study.
 

IRGC Targets Internet Activists

On June 22, Reporters Without Borders issued a report entitled “Revolutionary Guards Target Internet Activists.” It addresses the recent spate of arrests as well as the pattern of prosecutions since President Rouhani was elected two years ago. Iran is ranked 173rd out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. The following are excerpts of the report:

In the two years since the moderate conservative Hassan Rouhani was installed as president, in June 2013, around 100 Internet activists have been arrested and given long jail terms, in most cases on information provided by the Revolutionary Guards.
 
This persecution of news and information providers is just the continuation of the unprecedented crackdown that began immediately after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed reelection in June 2009, when at least 300 journalists and Internet activists were arrested arbitrarily, tortured and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.
 
But this persecution is also a weapon in the power struggle being waged among the various government factions, a weapon used to keep constant pressure on President Rouhani, who was elected thanks to the support of progressives and who, during his campaign, promised the “release of all political prisoners” and more “free speech and media freedom.”
 
Several journalists and Internet activists who were convicted in 2009 and 2010 by rigged revolutionary courts have since been released on completing their sentences but many others are still in prison, where they are often subjected to appalling conditions.
 
They include Said Razavi Faghih, Saraj Mirdamadi, Masoud Bastani, Reza Entesari, Said Madani, Said Matinpour and Alireza Rajai. Unfortunately there has been no improvement in the inhuman treatment reserved for prisoners of conscience in Iran, especially in Tehran’s Evin prison and in Raja’i Shahr prison.
 
Furthermore, journalists are no longer able to work after completing their jail terms, regardless of whether their sentences included a post-release “ban on practicing the profession of journalist.”
 
Many newspaper executives and editors are given clear instructions not to hire them. One way or another, the regime prevents most independent journalists from working. Two journalists were recently fired from a media outlet by one of President Rouhani’s associates solely because they had been imprisoned.
 
Internet activists – easy targets
 
With more than 40 million Internet users, according to official figures, Iran is one of the region’s most connected countries. The level of government control of the Internet has been the subject of intense debate at the highest levels since Rouhani took over as president.
 
Compared with the Ahmadinejad era, Internet surveillance and control seem to have eased somewhat. This has not pleased the Revolutionary Guards despite benefitting their business interests as managers of Iran’s leading Internet Service Provider, the Telecommunication Company of Iran (TCI), and the three leading mobile phone operators that are government offshoots. And this displeasure accounts for their current offensive against Internet activists.
 
The staff of the website Narenji (Orange in Persian) were among the first victims of the Revolutionary Guard offensive. After being arrested on 3 December 2013Ali Asghar Honarmand, Abass Vahedi, Ehsan Paknejad and Hossien Nozari were given sentences ranging from two to eleven years in prison for “collaborating with enemy media.” Six other Narenji activists have been released conditionally. All were subjected to months of solitary confinement to extract confessions, called “acts of self-accusation,” that were used as evidence against them.
 
Several people with dual citizenship have been given long jail terms because of what they were posting on Facebook and other social networks. They include Roya Saberi Negad Nobakht, who has dual Iranian and British citizenship. A Tehran revolutionary court sentenced her to 20 years in prison on 27 May 2014. This was reduced to five years in April of this year. Farideh Shahgholi, a woman with dual Iranian and German citizenship, is serving a three-year jail term.
 
Nobakht was one of many Internet activists arrested by the Revolutionary Guards in 2013. They included Amir Gholestani, Masoud Ghasemkhani, Fariborz Kardarfar, Seyyed Masoud Seyyed Talebi, Amin (Faride) Akramipour, Mehdi Reyshahri and Naghmeh Shahi Savandi Shirazi. After being placed in solitary confinement in Section 2A of Evin prison and subjected to a great deal of pressure, they were given sentences ranging from one to eight years in prison…
 
On 8 June, judicial system spokesman Golamhossien Mohsseni Ejehi announced the arrests of “several individuals” for social network activity regarded as “actions against national security.”
 
The victims of the latest Revolutionary Guard-orchestrated round-up include Mahmud Moussavifarand Shayan AkbarPour, two Internet activists who ran the Rahian Facebook page and a blog called Rahi, which cannot currently be accessed.  After plainclothes men arrested them at their Tehran home on 31 May, their families reported them missing because they still do not know why they were arrested or where they were taken.
 
Click here for the full report.
 
Tags: Reports

US Report on Iran’s Support of Extremism

Iran increased its assistance to Shiite militias in Iraq, one of which is designated as a foreign terrorist organization, according to a new State Department report. In 2014, Tehran also continued supporting Palestinian militants in Gaza and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, which has played a key role in defending the Assad regime in Syria. Iran-backed militias have also exacerbated sectarian tensions in Iraq.
 
At a press conference, Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism Tina Kaidanow emphasized that sanctions relief as part of a nuclear deal with Iran would not impact terrorism related measures. “We have sanctions in place against Iran specifically related to the terrorism issue. That’s not going to change.”
 
Iran condemned the report as politically-motivated. “The growing and complicated scourge of terrorism is rooted in applying double standards and a political approach to this evil and inhumane phenomenon,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Marziyeh Afkham said on June 20. Iran is actually the “biggest victim of terrorism,” she claimed.
 

The following is an excerpt from the Bureau of Counterterrorism’s annual report.

IRAN
 
Designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984, Iran continued its terrorist-related activity in 2014, including support for Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, Lebanese Hizballah, and various groups in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. This year, Iran increased its assistance to Iraqi Shia militias, one of which is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), in response to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) incursion into Iraq, and has continued to support other militia groups in the region. Iran also attempted to smuggle weapons to Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza. While its main effort focused on supporting goals in the Middle East, particularly in Syria, Iran and its proxies also continued subtle efforts at growing influence elsewhere including in Africa, Asia, and, to a lesser extent, Latin America. Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to implement foreign policy goals, provide cover for intelligence operations, and create instability in the Middle East. The IRGC-QF is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad.
 
Iran views Syria as a crucial causeway in its weapons supply route to Lebanese Hizballah, its primary beneficiary, and as a key pillar in its “resistance” front. In 2014, Iran continued to provide arms, financing, training, and the facilitation of primarily Iraqi Shia and Afghan fighters to support the Asad regime’s brutal crackdown that has resulted in the deaths of at least 191,000 people in Syria, according to August UN estimates. Iran publicly admits to sending members of the IRGC to Syria in an advisory role. There is consistent media reporting that some of these troops are IRGC-QF members and that they have taken part in direct combat operations. While Tehran has denied that IRGC-QF personnel participate in combat operations, in 2014 it acknowledged the deaths in Syria of two senior officers (Brigadier Generals Abdullah Eskandari and Jamar Dariswali). Tehran claimed they were volunteers who lost their lives while protecting holy shrines near Damascus.
 
Likewise in Iraq, despite its pledge to support Iraq’s stabilization, Iran increased training and funding to Iraqi Shia militia groups in response to ISIL’s advance into Iraq. Many of these groups, such as Kata’ib Hizballah (KH), have exacerbated sectarian tensions in Iraq and have committed serious human rights abuses against primarily Sunni civilians. The IRGC-QF, in concert with Lebanese Hizballah, provided training outside of Iraq as well as advisors inside Iraq for Shia militants in the construction and use of sophisticated improvised explosive device (IED) technology and other advanced weaponry. Similar to Hizballah fighters, many of these trained Shia militants have used these skills to fight for the Asad regime in Syria or against ISIL in Iraq.
 
Iran has historically provided weapons, training, and funding to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups, including Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC). These Palestinian terrorist groups have been behind a number of deaths from attacks originating in Gaza and the West Bank. Although Hamas’s ties to Tehran have been strained due to the Syrian civil war, in a November 25 speech, Supreme Leader Khamenei highlighted Iran’s military support to “Palestinian brothers” in Gaza and called for the West Bank to be similarly armed. In December, Hamas Deputy Leader Moussa Abu Marzouk announced bilateral relations with Iran and Hamas were “back on track.”
 
In March, Israeli naval forces boarded the Klos C cargo ship in the Red Sea off the coast of Sudan. On board, they found 40 M-302 rockets, 180 mortars, and approximately 400,000 rounds of ammunition hidden within crates of cement labeled “Made in Iran” and believed to be destined to militants in the region.
 
Since the end of the 2006 Israeli-Hizballah conflict, Iran has also assisted in rearming Lebanese Hizballah, in direct violation of UNSCR 1701. General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the IRGC Aerospace Force stated in November that "The IRGC and Hezbollah are a single apparatus jointed together," and Lebanese Hizballah Deputy Secretary General Naim Qassem boasted that Iran had provided his organization with missiles that had “pinpoint accuracy” in separate November public remarks. Iran has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in support of Lebanese Hizballah in Lebanon and has trained thousands of its fighters at camps in Iran. These trained fighters have used these skills in direct support of the Asad regime in Syria and, to a lesser extent, in support of operations against ISIL in Iraq. They have also continued to carry out attacks along the Lebanese border with Israel.
 
Iran remained unwilling to bring to justice senior al-Qa’ida (AQ) members it continued to detain, and refused to publicly identify those senior members in its custody. Iran previously allowed AQ facilitators to operate a core facilitation pipeline through Iran since at least 2009, enabling AQ to move funds and fighters to South Asia and Syria.
 
Iran remains a state of proliferation concern. Despite multiple UNSCRs requiring Iran to suspend its sensitive nuclear proliferation activities, Iran continued to be in noncompliance with its international obligations regarding its nuclear program. Implementation of the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) between the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, coordinated by the EU), and Iran began on January 20, 2014. Iran has fulfilled the commitments that it made under the JPOA. The parties negotiated during 2014 to pursue a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to achieve a long-term comprehensive solution to restore confidence that Iran’s nuclear program is and will remain exclusively peaceful.
 
Click here for more information.
 

Pew: Iran Unpopular around the World

Iran’s global image remains mostly negative in the run up to the June 30 deadline for a nuclear deal, according to a new Pew Research Center poll. The survey, conducted from March 25 to May 27, found that majorities or pluralities in 31 of 40 countries hold an unfavorable view of the Islamic Republic. About three-in-four Americans still hold unfavorable views of the Islamic Republic. “And in several Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and Asia, ratings have declined considerably in recent years,” according to Pew. President Hassan Rouhani, elected two years ago, also still receives generally poor ratings. The following are excerpted results.

 
Low Marks for Iran in Middle East, Other Regions
 
Iran is viewed negatively by most nations surveyed, with a global median of 58% saying they have an unfavorable opinion of the country that borders Afghanistan in the east and Iraq in the west. Pakistan is the only country polled where a majority (57%) views Iran favorably.
 
 
 
Perhaps influenced by political and sectarian tensions in the Middle East, favorable views of majority-Shia Iran have declined precipitously in some Muslim-majority countries over the last decade.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Click here for more information.
 
Tags: Reports

Iran Nuke Program: ABCs of Issues

In the final weeks before the June 30 deadline for a nuclear deal, negotiators from Iran and the world's six major powers continued to work through complex issues. The United States compares negotiations to solving a Rubik’s Cube™, because so many pieces are involved—and moving one moves all the others. (The world’s most popular puzzle has 43 quintillion permutations to solve it so all the colors match on the six faces.)

On April 2, E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif issued a joint statement announcing that Iran and the world's six major powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States - had reached an understanding on key parameters for a comprehensive nuclear deal. The White House then released a more detailed fact sheet on the framework. But Iranian officials swiftly criticized the document and disputed some of its details. Sanctions, inspections of military sites, and research on advanced centrifuges became particularly contentious issues as negotiators worked towards a comprehensive deal by June 30.
 
The following are some of the key issues in the Rubik’s Cube of a nuclear deal.
  
INSPECTIONS AND VERIFICATION
 
Any deal will require considerable transparency into the nature and extent of Iran’s civilian nuclear infrastructure, as well as possible past military dimensions of its program. A deal will also involve extensive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of Natanz, Fordow, Arak, centrifuge assembly facilities, uranium mines, research facilities—and possibly other sites—aimed at ensuring that Iran’s program remains solely for peaceful purposes.

It may also cover access to sites suspected of past work on bomb components, such as Parchin military base. And it is likely to require Tehran’s acceptance of the IAEA’s “Additional Protocol,” allowing inspections at both declared and undeclared sites—and maybe other intrusive measures.
 
Following the April 2 announcement, the issue of whether international inspectors would have access to Iran’s military facilities remained a key sticking point. The U.S. factsheet emphasizes that inspectors will be able to access "suspicious sites" anywhere in the country to investigate alleged covert enrichment activities. But Iran strongly opposes enhanced inspections that could potentially include its military sites.
 
Joint Statement by Zarif and Mogherini
“A set of measures have been agreed to monitor the provisions of the JCPOA including implementation of the modified Code 3.1 and provisional application of the Additional Protocol. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be permitted the use of modern technologies and will have enhanced access through agreed procedures, including to clarify past and present issues.

Iran will take part in international cooperation in the field of civilian nuclear energy which can include supply of power and research reactors.”
 
White House fact sheet
  • 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.
 
SANCTIONS
 
The United States, United Nations, and European Union have imposed an escalating series of sanctions on Iran over the years related to its controversial nuclear program. The timing of sanctions removal remained an area of dispute following the April 2 announcement. Iranian officials called for immediate and permanent sanctions relief in exchange for scaling back its nuclear capabilities. But U.S. officials claimed that lifting sanctions would happen gradually, and they could be “snapped back into place” if Iran violates the terms of the agreement.
 
Joint Statement by Zarif and Mogherini
“The EU will terminate the implementation of all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions and the US will cease the application of all nuclear-related secondary economic and financial sanctions, simultaneously with the IAEA-verified implementation by Iran of its key nuclear commitments.”
 
White House fact sheet
  • 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.

 

CENTRIFUGES

Since 2002, Iran has built centrifuges to enrich uranium, which can fuel both peaceful energy and deadly bombs. Tehran claims it is only for medical research and energy. But Iran’s abilities far exceed its current needs; Russia provides fuel for Iran’s single nuclear reactor.

Iran now has about 19,000 centrifuges—up from less than 200 a decade ago. The vast majority of these are first-generation “IR-1” centrifuges, but Iran has begun installing much more sophisticated “IR-2” models. About 10,000 are enriching uranium at Iran’s two enrichment facilities, Natanz and Fordow; the rest are installed but not operating.
 
Zarif and Mogherini’s statement offered few specifics on reducing the number of Iran’s centrifuges or limiting research and development. But the White House fact sheet indicated Iran will be capped at just over 6,000 IR-1 centrifuges. Zarif and Atomic Energy Organization head Ali Akbar Salehi, however, reportedly told the Iranian parliament that Iran would begin operating IR-8 centrifuges, an advanced model that enriches uranium at a faster rate.
 
Joint Statement by Zarif and Mogherini
“Iran's research and development on centrifuges will be carried out on a scope and schedule that has been mutually agreed.”
 
White House fact sheet
  • 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.
 
ENRICHMENT
 
Uranium enriched to 90 percent is the purest form to fuel a weapon. Prior to the November 24 “Joint Plan of Action” (JPOA) interim nuclear deal, Iran was enriching up to 20 percent level; under the JPOA, enrichment has been temporarily capped at five percent or less.

A final deal could seek to limit enrichment to five percent or less. The White House fact sheet indicated that Iran would be required to refrain from enriching uranium over 3.67 percent for 15 years.
 
Joint Statement by Zarif and Mogherini, April 2
 “Iran's enrichment capacity, enrichment level and stockpile will be limited for specified durations.”
 
White House fact sheet
  • Iran has agreed to not enrich uranium over 3.67 percent for at least 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.
          
STOCKPILE
 
The larger the stockpile of uranium gas, the faster Iran could produce fuel for a bomb. Iran had 447 kg of uranium enriched at 20 percent before the interim deal went into effect in January. It has since begun “neutralizing” its 20 percent stockpile by diluting 104 kg to 3.5 percent enriched uranium and converting another 287 kg into uranium oxide powder.

A deal could seek to limit the stockpile of 5 percent enriched uranium and require Iran to further reduce its stockpile of 20 percent uranium in oxide form. Iran may be allowed to keep some for research, but not enough to quickly build a bomb.
 
Joint Statement by Zarif and Mogherini
Iran's enrichment capacity, enrichment level and stockpile will be limited for specified durations.”
 
White House fact sheet
  • 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.
 
 
NATANZ
 
Iran’s primary enrichment facility includes three underground buildings, two of which are designed to hold 50,000 centrifuges, and six buildings built above ground.

A deal will try to limit the program at Natanz. Zarif and Mogherini’s statement did not mention Natanz other than to clarify that it will be the only remaining enrichment facility. The White House fact sheet laid out more specific limits on enrichment and research at Natanz.
 
Joint Statement by Zarif and Mogherini
“There will be no other enrichment facility than Natanz.”
 
White House fact sheet
  • 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.
 
FORDOW
 
The smaller, underground enrichment facility near Qom includes two halls; each could hold 1,500 centrifuges. Iran claims Fordow is to enrich uranium up to 20 percent— only for research. But skeptics contend the deeply-buried site, designed to survive aerial bombardment, is intended to take 20 percent enriched material from Natanz and enrich it to higher levels for use in a nuclear weapon.

A deal will try to end enrichment activities at Fordow. Both the Zarif and Mogherini statement and the White House fact sheet suggested it will be converted to a research-only facility.
 
Joint Statement by Zarif and Mogherini
“Fordow will be converted from an enrichment site into a nuclear, physics and technology centre. International collaboration will be encouraged in agreed areas of research. There will not be any fissile material at Fordow.”
 
White House fact sheet
  • 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.
  • 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.
 
ARAK
 
The small heavy-water reactor, begun in the 1990s, is unfinished. Iran claims it is to produce medical isotopes and thermal power for civilian use. But the design would also produce plutonium that, if chemically reprocessed, could provide an alternative fuel to uranium for an atomic bomb. Nine kilograms of plutonium is enough material to fuel one or two nuclear weapons. After completion, Arak would need to run for 12 to 18 months to generate that much plutonium.

A deal will try to close Arak or redesign it in a way to substantially reduce plutonium output. A deal will also try prohibit Iran from building a reprocessing facility. On April 2, negotiators agreed to redesign the facility so that it is no longer capable of producing weapons grade plutonium.
 
Joint Statement by Zarif and Mogherini
“An international joint venture will assist Iran in redesigning and rebuilding a modernized Heavy Water Research Reactor in Arak that will not produce weapons grade plutonium. There will be no reprocessing and the spent fuel will be exported.”
 
White House fact sheet
  • 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.
 
 
For more information, see:
 
Photo credits: Rubik's Cube by by Lars Karlsson (Keqs) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], NuclearEnergy.ir
 

 

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