Iran nuclear deal - the key points

Iran nuclear deal - the key points
Analysis: The "framework" deal on Iran's nuclear programme will scale down enrichment activity and introduce more inspections in return for the lifting of sanctions. Here are the points in detail.
3 min read
02 April, 2015
Many of Iran's nuclear facilities will be downgraded and converted [AFP]

Global powers and Iran have agreed a potentially historic deal on Iran's nuclear programme. The "parameters" for the accord will be fleshed out into a comprehensive agreement by 30 June. The US state department has released the main points of the deal, agreed after talks between Iran and the "P5+1" group of nations - the UK, China, France, Germany, Russia and the US.

Iran will slash by more than two-thirds of its uranium centrifuges, which can make fuel for nuclear power but also the core of a nuclear bomb, from 19,000 to about 6,000 in 10 years. Iran's stockpile of low-enriched uranium will be reduced from 10,000kg to 300kg for 15 years. Iran will not build any new enrichment facilities for 15 years, and will only enrich to low fissile purities for at least 15 years.

Fordo This facility, built into a mountain near the holy city of Qom, will not be used for uranium enrichment for at least 15 years. Fordo will be converted into a nuclear, physics, technology and research centre. Almost two-thirds of its 2,700 centrifuges will be removed. The remaining centrifuges will not enrich uranium.

Natanz This facility will become Iran's only enrichment site. However, more than 1,000 more advanced IR-2M centrifuges will be removed, and a small number of other more advanced ones will not be used to produce enriched uranium for at least 10 years. Research and development into advanced centrifuges will be limited to ensure that the "breakout" time - the time needed to produce a bomb's worth of material - will be at least one year.

     Iran will slash by more than two-thirds of its uranium centrifuges.

Arak Iran will redesign and rebuild a heavy water research reactor in Arak, so it does not provide Iran with plutonium, the alternative to uranium for a nuclear weapon. The original core of this reactor will be destroyed or removed from the country. All the spent fuel, from which plutonium could be extracted, will be shipped out of the country. Iran will not build any additional heavy water reactors for 15 years.

Inspections New transparency and inspections mechanisms will closely monitor materials and/or components to prevent diversion to a secret programme.

The UN atomic agency, the IAEA, will have access to uranium mines and continuous surveillance at uranium mills that process uranium ore for 25 years. Iran will implement the Additional Protocol of the IAEA, providing the IAEA greater oversight, and Code 3.1 requiring early notification of new facilities.

Iran will be required to grant access to the IAEA to investigate suspicious sites or allegations of covert facilities. An "agreed set of measures" will address the IAEA's stalled probe into allegations of possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear programme.

Sanctions US and EU nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended once the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps. If at any time Iran fails to fulfil its commitments, these sanctions will "snap back" into place.

The architecture of US nuclear-related sanctions will be retained for much of the duration of the deal. All past UN Security Council resolutions on the Iran nuclear issue will be lifted simultaneous with the completion, by Iran, of nuclear-related actions addressing all key concerns.

However, core provisions in the UN Security Council resolutions dealing with transfers of sensitive technologies and activities will be re-established by a new UN Security Council resolution.