UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The parties to the nuclear deal signed by Iran in 2015 meet in Vienna for extraordinary talks to discuss rising tensions between Iran and the West, including naval confrontations and Tehran’s breach of the deal.
The following are some of the main constraints imposed by the nuclear agreement called the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan.
* The level of uranium enrichment
The greatest obstacle to the manufacture of nuclear weapons is the need to obtain sufficient fissile material, such as highly enriched uranium or plutonium for nuclear weapons.
The agreement imposes a higher degree of purity on what Iran can enrich than uranium hexafluoride, which is fed by centrifuges at 3.67 percent compared with the level of enrichment needed to make nuclear weapons and 90 percent.
It is also well below the 20 percent enrichment level Iran reached before the deal. This limit applies in the agreement for 15 years.
* Enrichment capacity
Iran has two major enrichment sites in Natanz and Vordu. Much of Natanz is under the ground and Fordo is in the belly of a mountain which is widely believed to protect the two sites from aerial bombardment.
The deal allows Iran to continue its enrichment operations at Natanz with restrictions. The agreement converts the Fordo site into a center for nuclear and physical technology using centrifuges for purposes other than enrichment, such as the production of stable isotopes.
The Agreement also provides that:
– Reduce the number of centrifuges installed in Iran to about 6000 from about 19 thousand before the agreement.
– Allow Iran to produce enriched uranium only with I-1 first-generation centrifuges.
– Allow Iran to use small numbers of more sophisticated centrifuges without accumulating enriched uranium for ten years.
* Stock of uranium
The agreement imposes a ceiling on Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile at 300 kilograms of enriched uranium hexafluoride by 3.67 percent or its equivalent for 15 years. This is equivalent to the standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which oversees compliance with the agreement of 202.8 kg of uranium.
Iran had produced tons before the agreement went into effect. Under the deal, any more enriched uranium will be mixed with other materials to equalize with natural uranium or shipped out of the country for natural uranium.
The United States said in 2015 that the deal reduced Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium by 98 percent to less than enough to make one nuclear weapon instead of enough to make about 10 weapons.
* Stop the production capacity of plutonium
Iran has moved away from the ability to produce a weapon with plutonium more than uranium. The construction of a heavy water reactor in Arak could eventually produce depleted fuel that could be separated from plutonium.
Under the agreement:
– The heart of this reactor was removed and the concrete poured into it to make it unusable.
– The reactor is being redesigned “to minimize the production of plutonium so that it can not produce weapons-grade plutonium in its normal operation.”
– All spent fuel from the Arak reactor is shipped out of Iran throughout the period of operation of the reactor.
– Iran is committed not to undertake reprocessing or reprocessing research for 15 years.
– Iran can continue to produce heavy water used as refrigerant in reactors similar to the Arak reactor, with no more than 130 tons. Iran has previously shipped excess quantities of oil for storage or sale. This restriction applies for 15 years.
The Agreement also provides that:
– Iran is required to apply the IAEA Additional Protocol, which grants the Agency wide inspection powers “and the pursuit of ratification and entry into force.”
– IAEA inspectors are granted daily access to Natanz and Fordo for 15 years.
– Provides that the signatory parties shall verify Iran’s purchases of nuclear or dual-use equipment.
– Iran is prohibited from carrying out a series of activities that could contribute to the manufacture of a nuclear bomb, such as computer simulators for nuclear detonation or the design of multiple multipurpose detonation systems. In some cases, such activities could be carried out with the agreement of the other parties to the Agreement.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.
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