News has just come in that Iran and the six world superpowers have agreed to a nuclear deal which covers all the key parameters demanded by both sides. It was announced Thursday, April 2, that the negotiations outlining Iran’s nuclear capabilities have been successful. A comprehensive plan of action and solution to Iran’s peaceful uranium enrichment program has been agreed upon. While the final blueprint and the exact wordings are being worked on, here are some of the key aspects of the deal.
Comprehensive Lifting of all the Sanctions against Iran
The European Union and the United States would be lifting all the sanctions and trade blocks against Iran. This will potentially turn out to be a boon for the Iranian economy as well as the European and the global economy. This was a major aspect of the deal that Iran was pursuing as a priority. However, the sanctions would be lifted only after a watchdog from U.N. reports that Iran has taken all the necessary steps to curb its nuclear program only for peaceful purposes. Also, in case of violation, all the sanctions would be back in place with immediate effect. Certain sanctions from U.N. will be lifted only after steps taken by Iran. A few restrictions would still be in place as per a new resolution by Security Council. A global boycott of Iranian oil and gas has led to the country’s isolation and the lifting of these sanctions would lead to major employment and revenue generation for the country.
Iranian Nuclear Reactors and Centrifuges
As per the deal, Iran would cut down the number of its uranium enrichment centrifuges to 6,104. Out of this 5,060 would be for enriching uranium for the next decade. It has been reported that Iran has a total of 19,000 such centrifuges out of which close to 10,000 are currently functioning. These centrifuges are essential machines needed for enriching uranium fit for generation of nuclear bombs or power. Apart from this, the Fordo nuclear reactor of Iran would be stopped from uranium enrichment for 15 years. There would be no fissile material supplied to the reactor though Iran would keep its 1,000 centrifuges at the facility. Fordo is one of Iran’s biggest reactors and is located 200 feet under a mountain. This was exposed to the international community by the U.S. in 2009.
Enrichment of Uranium
Apart from cutting down the number of its centrifuges, a cap of 3.67 percent has been placed on the enrichment of uranium. This makes sure that the enriched material can be used for power generation for civilian use but not to make nuclear bombs. This cap would be in place for the next 15 years. Also, Iran agreed not to build any new enrichment facilities during this time. The 3.67 percent cap would be a major step in reduction of Iran’s accumulation of 20 percent enriched uranium in 2014. This is one of the key aspects that was hotly discussed across the spectrum while negotiations were on between the world powers and Iran for the nuclear deal.
As per current assessment, Iran could take only two to three months to obtain material to make a nuclear bomb. That time would extend to approximately one year under the deal. This breakout period will last for a decade.
The International Atomic Energy Agency which is the nuclear watchdog for U.N., will have all the information and access to inspect the Iranian nuclear facilities. This is to make sure that Iran does not enrich military-grade uranium. They will have access to the military facility of Parchin, which has been related to the Iranian nuclear program. Due to operation of secret facilities and other related work by Iran in the past, the Western countries have sought unrestrained access to all the facilities in Iran whether declared or undeclared.
Other Developments and Research
Finally, according to the deal, Iran would be able to continue its research on uranium enrichment. However, it would still keep the actual nuclear bomb making capabilities away Iran for a breakout period of one year. These are the key parameters that have been agreed upon between Iran and world powers in the Iranian nuclear deal.