US outlines security benefits if Iran deal revival agreed
In anticipation of the United States sending its response to a proposal on reviving the Iran nuclear deal this week, a U.S. senior administration official provided these points.
In the event of a return to full mutual implementation of the JCPOA, the U.S. administration official said by email Tuesday (Aug. 23):
1. Iran would be prohibited from enriching and stockpiling uranium above very limited levels, denying it the material required for a bomb. Iran would not be permitted to have any of the 20% and 60%-enriched uranium that it is stockpiling today.
2. Thousands of advanced centrifuges Iran is operating today would be stopped and removed, including all of the centrifuges enriching at the fortified underground facility at Fordow. Strict limits on Iranian enrichment would mean that even if Iran left the deal to pursue a nuclear weapon, it would take at least six months to do so.
3. Any Iranian pathway to a plutonium-based nuclear weapon would also be blocked as a result of a prohibition on reprocessing and the redesign of a reactor that could otherwise be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium.
4. In addition to the nuclear constraints Iran would have to implement, the IAEA would again be able to implement the most comprehensive inspections regime ever negotiated, allowing it to detect any Iranian effort to pursue a nuclear weapon covertly. Much of that international monitoring would remain in place for an unlimited amount of time.
What is the message? Is it about selling the strengths of a potential deal revival?
“Countering Iranian leaks,” suggested one expert close to the talks. “But yes, if the deal is finalized, this could be the early steps in selling it,” he said. “But at this stage, I’m not sure Iran will say yes.”
Meantime, a European Union official said as of Tuesday morning, the U.S. had not yet sent its response.