White House releases summary on Iran nuke deal

White House releases summary on Iran nuke deal

PanARMENIAN.Net - The White House on Thursday, Jan 16, released a summary of the deal reached between six major world powers and Iran to curb its nuclear program, responding to calls from Congress and other groups for more transparency about what the agreement entails.

Iran has denied that it wants to use the program to build nuclear weapons but agreed to scale it back, after the international community applied strict financial and oil sanctions. The six-month preliminary deal includes some relief from sanctions as talks continue toward a broader, long-term deal.

The White House gave Congress access to the full text of technical instructions for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) but released a detailed four-page summary of the deal to the public. "It is the preference of the IAEA that certain technical aspects of the technical understandings remain confidential," White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to stop production of 20% enriched uranium on or by Monday, Jan 20, and to begin diluting half of its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium. Over the next six months, the IAEA will verify a series of other curbs on enrichment and use of centrifuges. Iran is not allowed to commission or fuel the Arak reactor, and must stop producing and testing fuel for the reactor, the summary said.

At the end of the six-month period, Iran will agree to "a cap on the permitted size of Iran's up to 5% enriched uranium stockpile", the summary said.

IAEA inspectors will visit the Natanz and Fordow uranium enrichment sites daily, including both scheduled and unannounced inspections. Inspectors will visit the Arak reactor at least monthly, up from the current pace of one every three months, or longer.

Iran agreed to provide design information for the Arak reactor and other access to related facilities, the summary said.

The added inspections will "enable the international community to more quickly detect breakout or the diversion of materials to a secret program", the summary said.

The European Union, Iran, and the six major powers (P5+1 – US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) that are part of the agreement will name a joint commission of experts to work with the IAEA to implement the deal and discuss any issues that arise. The group will meet once a month.

The summary also included details on the timing of sanctions relief.

Iran's nuclear program

Iran's leaders have worked to pursue nuclear energy technology since the 1950s, spurred by the launch of U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Atoms for Peace program. It made steady progress, with Western help, through the early 1970s. But concern over Iranian intentions followed by the upheaval of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 effectively ended outside assistance. Iran was known to be reviving its civilian nuclear programs during the 1990s, but revelations in 2002 and 2003 of clandestine research into fuel enrichment and conversion raised international concern that Iran's ambitions had metastasized beyond peaceful intent. Although Iran has consistently denied allegations it seeks to develop a bomb, the September 2009 revelation of a second uranium enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom -constructed under the radar of international inspectors - deepened suspicion surrounding Iran's nuclear ambitions.

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