Iranian Nuclear Deal and Its Aftermath

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Experts and politicians have started to debate the pros and cons of the Iranian nuclear deal that was signed on the 14th July 2015. This analysis aims to assess the arguments and predictions about its likely future.

 

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will come into force ninety days after UN Security Council passes a resolution that approves the accord. The good news about the deal is that Iran’s break-out capacity of 2-3 months is now extended to a year. Moreover, the Iranian delegation’s demands for the lifting of sanctions that previously banned the sale of conventional weapons in general have been rejected. The six powers involved in negotiating this deal have decided to limit the duration of sanctions on the sale of ballistic missiles for eight more years, whereas for other conventional weapons it will be for another five years. One of the main achievements of this deal for the Iranian regime was of course the recognition of Tehran’s legitimate right to nuclear enrichment as already stated in Article 4 of the NPT Treaty- by the P5+1. However, this newly recognized stock of Iranian enriched uranium was restricted to a limit of not more than 3.67 percent purity. It is a well-known fact that the level of enrichment required to make a nuclear weapon is 90 percent. Previously, the Tehran regime has enriched its uranium to 20 percent, and by accepting this new restriction Iran was in fact giving an important signal to the world community that since its nuclear program has been put under IAEA control its aim is for purely civilian purposes.

 

Another positive restriction that has been imposed on Iran relates to the status of Iran’s Fordow nuclear underground facility. According to the agreement, in the next fifteen years the Fordow nuclear site will be turned into a scientific research facility. Furthermore, a deal has also been reached about the number of gas centrifuges, which had been one of the most controversial issues. With this new agreement, Tehran is now is required to lower its current centrifuge capacity from 19.000 to 6104. Consequently, the six powers by introducing these restrictions and a new verification system with the assistance of the IAEA, aimed to cap Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium by reducing it by almost 98 percent.

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