Understanding the Iran Deal

Negotiations between Iran and the (P5+1) group on Iran’s nuclear program are expected to be completed by the 30 of June or shortly thereafter. In this issue of the newsletter, we review some of the political and technical issues involved in the negotiations.

P5+1 means the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S.) plus Germany. They have been negotiating with Iran since 2006 to insure that Iran does not develop nuclear weapons. A Framework Agreement was was reached between the two sides on April 2 and it is supposed to be the basis for a final agreement.

Just what were the terms of the Framework Agreement. That depends on whom you ask. There was a short official announcement put out by the P5+1 and Iran that contains little in the way of detail. We have appended that document as published by the Council on Foreign Relations on April 2. There are two other documents purporting to provide some of the details of the Framework Agreement – one put out by the US State Department and the other put out by the Iranian government (translated by the Harvard Belfer Center). There are very significant differences between the two documents.

Before discussing those differences a short review of technical issues is in order — to understand why it matters if Iran enriches uranium to 3.6 % or to 20% when it takes 90% enrichment to make weapons grade uranium, and to understand why plutonium production is a significant issue.

An atomic nucleus consists of protons that have an electrical charge and neutrons that have no charge. A atom consists of the nucleus plus a cloud of electrons that surround it. The number of electrons in an electrically neutral atom equals the number of protons in the nucleus and it is the number of electrons and their orbits that determine the chemical properties of an element.

All nuclei that have a given number of protons but different numbers of neutrons are called isotopes of the element. For example, the element hydrogen, having one proton, has isotopes with 0,1 or 2 neutrons. Naturally occurring uranium is a mixture of isotopes with 143 neutrons and 146 neutrons. Scientists use a shorthand to describe nuclei. They add the number of protons an neutrons in a nucleus and put that number in front of the element name. 235U means a nucleus with 92 protons and 143 neutrons. 238U has 92 protons and 146 neutrons. U is the symbol for uranium and Pu is the symbol for plutonium that has 94 protons. Different elements can be separated from each other comparatively easily using chemical techniques. It is much more difficult to separate isotopes of the same element such as 235U and 238U. Typically physical means, such as high speed centrifuges, are used to separate them.

Large amounts of energy are liberated when a heavy element such as uranium (U) or plutonium (Pu) fissions. In the fission process, the heavy element (U or Pu) is hit by a slow neutron and splits up into two lighter nuclei of (very roughly) half the mass of the fissioning nucleus. In addition to the two fragments, 2 to 3 neutrons are produced in every 235U fission. Those neutrons cause other 235U nuclei to fission and the effect keeps getting multiplied – each fission event leads to 2.4 more neutrons on the average. When the fission process is controlled it is used to generate power in a nuclear reactor. An uncontrolled chain reaction causes reactor meltdowns and can be used for nuclear weapons.

Naturally occurring uranium consists of 99.28% 238U and just 0.72% 235U. It is the 0.72% of 235U that fissions with slow neutrons. 238U, which does not fission with slow neutrons, must be removed to make the fuel for reactors and weapons. Reactor grade uranium is enriched to 3.6% 235U; research grade reactor fuel is enriched to 20% 235U and weapons grade uranium is enriched to 90% 235U.

Consider 1000 kilos of natural uranium. It contains 7 kilos of 235U and 993 kilos of 238U. To make reactor grade uranium, we would have to remove 805 of those 993 kilos of 238U. There are 7 kilos of 235U and 188 kilos of 238U in the reactor grade material. If we want to convert that 3.6% 235U to 20% 235U (research reactor grade), we would have to remove 160 of the remaining kilos of 238U, leaving 7 kilos of 235U and 28 kilos of 238U. Finally to get to 90% 235U (weapons grade) we would remove just 27 more kilos of 238U. To convert naturally occurring uranium to weapons grade 235U, most of the 238U is removed in the first step going to 3.6% enrichment.

That’s the reason for concern about Iran having substantial amount of enriched uranium. Roughly speaking, it would take Iran about ten weeks to make enough material for a uranium bomb, using its present supply of 3.6% 235U. The only way to slow down the program significantly is to sharply reduce Iran’s supply of both 3.6% and 20% 235U. If that is done, it would take about a year for Iran to enrich uranium to weapons grade (90%).

In addition to 235U, there is another route to nuclear weapons – 239Pu. In the fission of 235U 2.4 neutrons are produced on the average, while 2.9 neutrons are produced in the fission of 239Pu. This makes it a more effective material for weapons and much less 239Pu than 235U is needed for a bomb.

Plutonium does not occur in nature, it is made in nuclear reactors. Production is enhanced in heavy water reactors such as the Arak facility. 238U does not fission when hit by a slow neutron in a reactor. Rather, it absorbs the neutron making 239U which then emits two electrons. In this process two neutrons are converted to protons making 239Pu, which can be chemically separated from uranium. Chemical separation is much easier and quicker than the gas centrifuge method used to separate 235U from 238U. To extract 239Pu from reactor fuel does require sophisticated chemical processing as the fuel rods are extremely radioactive and plutonium is a very chemically poisonous substance. However, once such facilities are in place, there is a convenient stream of weapons material.

The goal of the P5+1 talks is to increase the length of time that it would take Iran to accumulate enough fissile material to make a bomb from 10 weeks to one year. To that end, Iran is to dilute its 20% enriched 235U or have it removed to some other country . Furthermore, it has agreed to reduce its stock of 3.6% enriched 235U from 10,000 kilos to 300 kilos – according to the US fact sheet. This lengthened time line is to be in effect for 10 years. The Iranian fact sheet says nothing about reducing the amount of 235U enriched to 3.6%. Without this reduction, the time line remains at 10 weeks. The P5+1 statement simply states, ‘As Iran pursues a peaceful nuclear programme, Iran’s enrichment capacity, enrichment level and stockpile will be limited for specified durations, and there will be no other enrichment facility than Natanz. ‘

According to the P5+1 document, ‘An international joint venture will assist Iran in redesigning and rebuilding a modernized Heavy Water Research Reactor in Arak that will not produce weapons grade plutonium. There will be no reprocessing and the spent fuel will be exported.

’ The U.S. fact sheet is more specific stating,’ The original core of the reactor, which would have enabled the production of significant quantities of weapons-grade plutonium, will be destroyed or removed from the country. The U.S. version of the fact sheet also states, ‘Iran will not accumulate heavy water in excess of the needs of the modified Arak reactor, and will sell any remaining heavy water on the international market for 15 years. Iran will not build any additional heavy water reactors for 15 years.’ The Iranian version is not so clear, ”The production of fuel for the Arak reactor and the granting of an international nuclear fuel license are among the issues that will be undertaken with international cooperation. On the other hand, the factory for the production of heavy water will continue to function as it has in the past.

Tight control of heavy water reactors is a necessity because the 239Pu route to nuclear weapons is quick and easy once the chemical processing is in place.

All in all it sounds like a reasonable deal provided that the final agreement corresponds to the U.S. version of the Framework Agreement. A one year time line to weapons grade nuclear material is much better than the ten week breakout period that obtains today in spite of sanctions. Unfortunately, there is a long history of Iranian deception and coverups. When the nuclear facility at Natanz was discovered in August of 2002, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) was not allowed to inspect the facility for six months. Iran also covered up the existence of an underground enrichment facility at Fordow until Western intelligence agencies revealed it.

What is needed to make it a better deal? Effective enforcement! The issues are (1) a verification mechanism that provides easy access by the IAEA to all nuclear facilities in Iran, declared or undeclared and (2) an automatic mechanism for the re-imposition of sanctions.

The IAEA safeguards procedure plus the Additional Protocol provides an effective verification mechanism. Iran has agreed to accept IAEA inspection with the Additional Protocol. There is agreement on this point in the P5+1 document and both fact sheets. However the Iranian version of the fact sheet makes Iranian acceptance contingent on the approval of the President and the Islamic Consultative Assembly. Under the terms of the protocol there is, ‘State provision of information about, and IAEA inspector access to, all parts of a State’s nuclear fuel cycle – including uranium mines, fuel fabrication and enrichment plants, and nuclear waste sites – as well as to any other location where nuclear material is or may be present.

It also states, ‘State provision of information on, and IAEA short-notice access to, all buildings on a nuclear site. The Protocol provides for IAEA inspectors to have “complementary” access to assure the absence of undeclared nuclear material or to resolve questions or inconsistencies in the information a State has provided about its nuclear activities. Advance notice in most cases is at least 24 hours. The advance notice is shorter – at least two hours – for access to any place on a site that is sought in conjunction with design information verification or ad hoc or routine inspections at that site. The activities carried out during complementary access could include examination of records, visual observation, environmental sampling, utilization of radiation detection and measurement devices, and the application of seals and other identifying and tamper-indicating devices).’

However, Iran is now arguing that IAEA access to military sites and interviews with Iranian nuclear scientists will not be permitted. This would contravene the terms of the Additional Protocol.

According to the U.S. fact sheet there will be an IAEA report on possible military dimensions of previous Iranian nuclear activities. The P5+1 document says nothing on this issue. It has been reported that a final agreement will not go into effect until the IAEA completes a report on possible military dimensions. Iran has not cooperated on this issue. That should mean that the U.S. will not sign an agreement with Iran. However, Secretary of State Kerry said that a full accounting by Iran in this area is not a show stopper for the agreement with Iran – before he said that it is a show stopper. The worrisome aspect of Kerry’s statement is that it indicates a willingness of the administration to agree to a deal with Iran under any circumstances.

There is a total disagreement between Iran and the U.S. on the timetable for the removal of sanctions. In this regard, the Iranian fact sheet states, ‘According to the reached solutions, after the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action, all of the UN resolutions will be revoked and all of the multilateral economic and financial sanctions by the EU and the unilateral ones by the US will be annulled.’

According to the U.S. fact sheet, ‘Iran will receive sanctions relief, if it verifiably abides by its commitments. U.S. and E.U. nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps. If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, these sanctions will snap back into place. The architecture of U.S. nuclear-related sanctions on Iran will be retained for much of the duration of the deal and allow for snap-back of sanctions in the event of significant non-performance.

The mechanism for effective implementation of a snap back provision is problematic. The Obama administration has given repeated assurances on the effectiveness of this mechanism without ever explaining exactly how it would work. It’s hard to imagine Russia and China reimposing sanctions. If the snap back mechanism does not work simply and automatically, there is grave reason to fear violations of the agreement by Iran.

Because President Obama is not defining this agreement as a treaty, he does not have to face the (insurmountable) obstacle of approval by a 2/3 majority in the Senate. Rather he is defining it as an executive agreement that does not require congressional consent. However an understanding has been reached between the President and the Congress that the Congress will be given a 30 day period (60 days if it goes to Congress after July 8) to study the agreement and vote on it.

If Congress votes it down, the President can veto the bill and he needs only 1/3 of Congress to vote with him in order to sustain the veto. It is very likely that the President’s veto would be sustained. The weakness of an executive agreement is that future Presidents are not bound by it. If this agreement does go into effect, it will be a major campaign issue in 2016.

Council on Foreign Relations April 2, 2015

Joint statement, read by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif:

We, the EU High Representative and the Foreign Minister of the I.R. of Iran, together with the Foreign Ministers of the E3+3 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States), met from 26 March to 2nd April 2015 in Switzerland. As agreed in November 2013, we gathered here to find solutions towards reaching a comprehensive resolution that will ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme and the comprehensive lifting of all sanctions.

Today, we have taken a decisive step: we have reached solutions on key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The political determination, the good will and the hard work of all parties made it possible. Let us thank all delegations for their tireless dedication.

This is a crucial decision laying the agreed basis for the final text of the JCPOA. We can now restart drafting the text and annexes of the JCPOA, guided by the solutions developed in these days.

As Iran pursues a peaceful nuclear programme, Iran’s enrichment capacity, enrichment level and stockpile will be limited for specified durations, and there will be no other enrichment facility than Natanz. Iran’s research and development on centrifuges will be carried out on a scope and schedule that has been mutually agreed.

Fordow will be converted from an enrichment site into a nuclear, physics and technology centre. International collaboration will be encouraged in agreed areas of research. There will not be any fissile material at Fordow. 

An international joint venture will assist Iran in redesigning and rebuilding a modernized Heavy Water Research Reactor in Arak that will not produce weapons grade plutonium. There will be no reprocessing and the spent fuel will be exported.

A set of measures have been agreed to monitor the provisions of the JCPOA including implementation of the modified Code 3.1 and provisional application of the Additional Protocol.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be permitted the use of modern technologies and will have enhanced access through agreed procedures, including to clarify past and present issues.

Iran will take part in international cooperation in the field of civilian nuclear energy which can include supply of power and research reactors. Another important area of cooperation will be in the field of nuclear safety and security. The EU will terminate the implementation of all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions and the US will cease the application of all nuclear-related secondary economic and financial sanctions, simultaneously with the IAEA-verified implementation by Iran of its key nuclear commitments.

A new UN Security Council Resolution will endorse the JCPOA, terminate all previous nuclear-related resolutions and incorporate certain restrictive measures for a mutually agreed period of time.

We will now work to write the text of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action including its technical details in the coming weeks and months at the political and experts levels. We are committed to complete our efforts by June 30th. We would like to thank the Swiss government for its generous support in hosting these negotiations.

U.S. Department of State April 2, 2015

Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program

Below are the key parameters of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program that were decided in Lausanne, Switzerland. These elements form the foundation upon which the final text of the JCPOA will be written between now and June 30, and reflect the significant progress that has been made in discussions between the P5+1, the European Union, and Iran. Important implementation details are still subject to negotiation, and nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. We will work to conclude the JCPOA based on these parameters over the coming months.

Enrichment

Iran has agreed to reduce by approximately two-thirds its installed centrifuges. Iran will go from having about 19,000 installed today to 6,104 installed under the deal, with only 5,060 of these enriching uranium for 10 years. All 6,104 centrifuges will be IR-1s, Iran’s first-generation centrifuge.

Iran has agreed to not enrich uranium over 3.67 percent for at least 15 years.

Iran has agreed to reduce its current stockpile of about 10,000 kg of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to 300 kg of 3.67 percent LEU for 15 years.

All excess centrifuges and enrichment infrastructure will be placed in IAEA monitored storage and will be used only as replacements for operating centrifuges and equipment.

Iran has agreed to not build any new facilities for the purpose of enriching uranium for 15 years.

Iran’s breakout timeline – the time that it would take for Iran to acquire enough fissile material for one weapon – is currently assessed to be 2 to 3 months. That timeline will be extended to at least one year, for a duration of at least ten years, under this framework.

Iran will convert its facility at Fordow so that it is no longer used to enrich uranium. Iran has agreed to not enrich uranium at its Fordow facility for at least 15 years. Iran has agreed to convert its Fordow facility so that it is used for peaceful purposes only – into a nuclear, physics, technology, research center. Iran has agreed to not conduct research and development associated with uranium enrichment at Fordow for 15 years. Iran will not have any fissile material at Fordow for 15 years.

Almost two-thirds of Fordow’s centrifuges and infrastructure will be removed. The remaining centrifuges will not enrich uranium. All centrifuges and related infrastructure will be placed under IAEA monitoring. Iran will only enrich uranium at the Natanz facility, with only 5,060 IR-1 first-generation centrifuges for ten years.

Iran has agreed to only enrich uranium using its first generation (IR-1 models) centrifuges at Natanz for ten years, removing its more advanced centrifuges. Iran will remove the 1,000 IR-2M centrifuges currently installed at Natanz and place them in IAEA monitored storage for ten years.

Iran will not use its IR-2, IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, or IR-8 models to produce enriched uranium for at least ten years. Iran will engage in limited research and development with its advanced centrifuges, according to a schedule and parameters which have been agreed to by the P5+1.

For ten years, enrichment and enrichment research and development will be limited to ensure a breakout timeline of at least 1 year. Beyond 10 years, Iran will abide by its enrichment and enrichment R&D plan submitted to the IAEA, and pursuant to the JCPOA, under the Additional Protocol resulting in certain limitations on enrichment capacity.

Inspections and Transparency

The IAEA will have regular access to all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, including to Iran’s enrichment facility at Natanz and its former enrichment facility at Fordow, and including the use of the most up-to-date, modern monitoring technologies.

Inspectors will have access to the supply chain that supports Iran’s nuclear program. The new transparency and inspections mechanisms will closely monitor materials and/or components to prevent diversion to a secret program. Inspectors will have access to uranium mines and continuous surveillance at uranium mills, where Iran produces yellowcake, for 25 years.

Inspectors will have continuous surveillance of Iran’s centrifuge rotors and bellows production and storage facilities for 20 years. Iran’s centrifuge manufacturing base will be frozen and under continuous surveillance. All centrifuges and enrichment infrastructure removed from Fordow and Natanz will be placed under continuous monitoring by the IAEA.

A dedicated procurement channel for Iran’s nuclear program will be established to monitor and approve, on a case by case basis, the supply, sale, or transfer to Iran of certain nuclear-related and dual use materials and technology – an additional transparency measure.

Iran has agreed to implement the Additional Protocol of the IAEA, providing the IAEA much greater access and information regarding Iran’s nuclear program, including both declared and undeclared facilities.

Iran will be required to grant access to the IAEA to investigate suspicious sites or allegations of a covert enrichment facility, conversion facility, centrifuge production facility, or yellowcake production facility anywhere in the country.

Iran has agreed to implement Modified Code 3.1 requiring early notification of construction of new facilities.

Iran will implement an agreed set of measures to address the IAEA’s concerns regarding the Possible Military Dimensions (PMD) of its program.

Reactors and Reprocessing

Iran has agreed to redesign and rebuild a heavy water research reactor in Arak, based on a design that is agreed to by the P5+1, which will not produce weapons grade plutonium, and which will support peaceful nuclear research and radioisotope production. The original core of the reactor, which would have enabled the production of significant quantities of weapons-grade plutonium, will be destroyed or removed from the country. Iran will ship all of its spent fuel from the reactor out of the country for the reactor’s lifetime.

Iran has committed indefinitely to not conduct reprocessing or reprocessing research and development on spent nuclear fuel.

Iran will not accumulate heavy water in excess of the needs of the modified Arak reactor, and will sell any remaining heavy water on the international market for 15 years. Iran will not build any additional heavy water reactors for 15 years.

Sanctions

Iran will receive sanctions relief, if it verifiably abides by its commitments. U.S. and E.U. nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps. If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, these sanctions will snap back into place.

The architecture of U.S. nuclear-related sanctions on Iran will be retained for much of the duration of the deal and allow for snap-back of sanctions in the event of significant non-performance.

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 (enrichment, Fordow, Arak, PMD, and transparency).

However, core provisions in the UN Security Council resolutions – those that deal with transfers of sensitive technologies and activities – will be re-established by a new UN Security Council resolution that will endorse the JCPOA and urge its full implementation. It will also create the procurement channel mentioned above, which will serve as a key transparency measure. Important restrictions on conventional arms and ballistic missiles, as well as provisions that allow for related cargo inspections and asset freezes, will also be incorporated by this new resolution.

A dispute resolution process will be specified, which enables any JCPOA participant, to seek to resolve disagreements about the performance of JCPOA commitments.

If an issue of significant non-performance cannot be resolved through that process, then all previous UN sanctions could be re-imposed.

U.S. sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missiles will remain in place under the deal.

Phasing

For ten years, Iran will limit domestic enrichment capacity and research and development – ensuring a breakout timeline of at least one year. Beyond that, Iran will be bound by its longer-term enrichment and enrichment research and development plan it shared with the P5+1

For fifteen years, Iran will limit additional elements of its program. For instance, Iran will not build new enrichment facilities or heavy water reactors and will limit its stockpile of enriched uranium and accept enhanced transparency procedures.

Important inspections and transparency measures will continue well beyond 15 years. Iran’s adherence to the Additional Protocol of the IAEA is permanent, including its significant access and transparency obligations. The robust inspections of Iran’s uranium supply chain will last for 25 years.

Even after the period of the most stringent limitations on Iran’s nuclear program, Iran will remain a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which prohibits Iran’s development or acquisition of nuclear weapons and requires IAEA safeguards on its nuclear program.

IAEA Safeguards Overview: Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols

What are safeguards and what role do they play?

Safeguards are activities by which the IAEA can verify that a State is living up to its international commitments not to use nuclear programmes for nuclear-weapons purposes. The global Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other treaties against the spread of nuclear weapons entrust the IAEA as the nuclear inspectorate. Today, the IAEA safeguards nuclear material and activities under agreements with more than 140 States.

Within the world’s nuclear non-proliferation regime, the IAEA’s safeguards system functions as a confidence-building measure, an early warning mechanism, and the trigger that sets in motion other responses by the international community if and when the need arises.

Over the past decade, IAEA safeguards have been strengthened in key areas. Measures aim to increase the likelihood of detecting a clandestine nuclear weapons programme and to build confidence that States are abiding by their international commitments.

What verification measures are used?

Safeguards are based on assessments of the correctness and completeness of a State’s declared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities. Verification measures include on-site inspections, visits, and ongoing monitoring and evaluation. Basically, two sets of measures are carried out in accordance with the type of safeguards agreements in force with a State.

One set relates to verifying State reports of declared nuclear material and activities. These measures – authorized under NPT-type comprehensive safeguards agreements – largely are based on nuclear material accountancy, complemented by containment and surveillance techniques, such as tamper-proof seals and cameras that the IAEA installs at facilities.

Another set adds measures to strengthen the IAEA’s inspection capabilities. They include those incorporated in what is known as an “Additional Protocol” – this is a legal document complementing comprehensive safeguards agreements. The measures enable the IAEA not only to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material but also to provide assurances as to the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in a State.

What kinds of inspections are done?

The IAEA carries out different types of on-site inspections and visits under comprehensive safeguards agreements.

Ad hoc inspections typically are made to verify a State´s initial report of nuclear material or reports on changes thereto, and to verify the nuclear material involved in international transfers.

Routine inspections – the type most frequently used – may be carried out according to a defined schedule or they may be of an unannounced or short-notice character. The Agency´s right to carry out routine inspections under comprehensive safeguards agreements is limited to those locations within a nuclear facility, or other locations containing nuclear material, through which nuclear material is expected to flow (strategic points).

Special inspections may be carried out in circumstances according to defined procedures. The IAEA may carry out such inspections if it considers that information made available by the State concerned, including explanations from the State and information obtained from routine inspections, is not adequate for the Agency to fulfil its responsibilities under the safeguards agreement.

Safeguards visits may be made to declared facilities at appropriate times during the lifecycle for verifying the safeguards relevant design information. For example, such visits may be carried out during construction to determine the completeness of the declared design information; during routine facility operations and following maintenance, to confirm that no modification was made that would allow unreported activities to take place; and during a facility decommissioning, to confirm that sensitive equipment was rendered unusable.

Activities IAEA inspectors perform during and in connection with on-site inspections or visits at facilities may include auditing the facility´s accounting and operating records and comparing these records with the State´s accounting reports to the agency; verifying the nuclear material inventory and inventory changes; taking environmental samples; and applying containment and surveillance measures (e.g., seal application, installation of surveillance equipment).

What is the Additional Protocol to safeguards agreements?

The Additional Protocol is a legal document granting the IAEA complementary inspection authority to that provided in underlying safeguards agreements. A principal aim is to enable the IAEA inspectorate to provide assurance about both declared and possible undeclared activities. Under the Protocol, the IAEA is granted expanded rights of access to information and sites.

An overview of the strengthened safeguards measures under Additional Protocols and comprehensive safeguards agreements follows:

Measures under Additional Protocols

State provision of information about, and IAEA inspector access to, all parts of a State’s nuclear fuel cycle – including uranium mines, fuel fabrication and enrichment plants, and nuclear waste sites – as well as to any other location where nuclear material is or may be present.

State provision of information on, and IAEA short-notice access to, all buildings on a nuclear site. (The Protocol provides for IAEA inspectors to have “complementary” access to assure the absence of undeclared nuclear material or to resolve questions or inconsistencies in the information a State has provided about its nuclear activities. Advance notice in most cases is at least 24 hours. The advance notice is shorter – at least two hours – for access to any place on a site that is sought in conjunction with design information verification or ad hoc or routine inspections at that site. The activities carried out during complementary access could include examination of records, visual observation, environmental sampling, utilization of radiation detection and measurement devices, and the application of seals and other identifying and tamper-indicating devices).

IAEA collection of environmental samples at locations beyond declared locations when deemed necessary by the Agency. (Wider area environmental sampling would require IAEA Board approval of such sampling and consultations with the State concerned).

IAEA right to make use of internationally established communications systems, including satellite systems and other forms of telecommunication.

State acceptance of IAEA inspector designations and issuance of multiple entry visas (valid for at least one year) for inspectors.

State provision of information about, and IAEA verification mechanisms for, its research and development activities related to its nuclear fuel cycle.

State provision of information on the manufacture and export of sensitive nuclear-related technologies, and IAEA verification mechanisms for manufacturing and import locations in the State.

Measures under Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements

IAEA collection of environmental samples in facilities and at locations where inspectors have access during inspections and design information verification (with sample analysis at the IAEA Clean Laboratory and/or at certified laboratories in Member States).

IAEA use of unattended and remote monitoring of movements of declared nuclear material in facilities and the transmission of authenticated and encrypted safeguards-relevant data to the Agency.

IAEA expanded use of unannounced inspections within the scheduled routine inspection regime.

IAEA enhanced evaluation of information from a State’s declarations, IAEA verification activities and a wide range of open sources.

State provision of design information on new facilities and on changes in existing facilities as soon as the State authorities decide to construct, authorize construction or modify a facility. The IAEA has the continuing right to verify the design information over the facility’s lifecycle, including decommissioning.

State voluntary reporting on imports and exports of nuclear material and exports of specified equipment and non-nuclear material. (Components of this reporting are incorporated in the Model Additional Protocol).

Closer co-operation between the IAEA and the State (and regional) systems for accounting for and control of nuclear material in Member States.

Provision of enhanced training for IAEA inspectors and safeguards staff and for Member State personnel responsible for safeguards implementation.

Harvard Belfer Center April 3, 2015

Translation of Iranian Fact Sheet on the Nuclear Negotiations

Iran Matters has translated the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s official “fact sheet” (titled “Summary of the Package of Joint Solutions for Reaching a Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action”) about yesterday’s nuclear accord, which has only been published in Farsi. Translated by Payam Mohseni.

What solutions did Iran and the P5+1 reach?

Arak heavy-water reactor remains; conversion of Fordow to an advanced nuclear and physics research center; all of the sanctions will be immediately removed after reaching a comprehensive agreement

According to the reached solutions, after the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action, all of the UN resolutions will be revoked and all of the multilateral economic and financial sanctions by the EU and the unilateral ones by the US will be annulled.

According to the reports from Farsnews correspondent in Lausanne, Iran and 6 countries reached a package of solutions for a Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action after 9 days of negotiations.

The Islamic Republic of Iran and the countries in the P5+1, including China, Russia, France, the United States, England, and Germany, in the city of Lausanne, Switzerland, reached a package of solutions necessary to attain a Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action according to the framework of the elements contained within the 24 November 2013 Joint Plan of Action and following a long process of complex and extensive negotiations with technical, legal, and political dimensions. The package containing these solutions does not have legal binding and will only provide a conceptual guide for calibrating and assessing a Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action. On these grounds, the drafting of a Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action based on these solutions will begin in the near future.

The Continuation of the Nuclear Program including Enrichment

According to the framework of existing solutions, none of the nuclear facilities or related activities will be stopped, shut down, or suspended, and Iran’s nuclear activities in all of its facilities including Natanz, Fordow, Isfahan, and Arak will continue.

These comprehensive solutions will guarantee the continuation of the enrichment program inside the country, and, based on this, the Islamic Republic of Iran will have the ability to continue its industrial production of nuclear fuel for providing the fuel for its nuclear reactors in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan for Joint Action.

According to the reached solutions, the timeframe of the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action regarding Iran’s enrichment program will be 10 years. During this period, more than 5,000 centrifuge machines will continue producing enriched material at the 3.67 percent level at Natanz. Additional machines to this number and related infrastructure will be used to replace machines that have been damages during this time and will be collected and stored under the supervision of the IAEA. Also, Iran will be able to use the existing enriched stockpile for producing a nuclear fuel center and/or its export to international markets in exchange for uranium.

According to the reached solutions, Iran will continue its research and development on advanced machines and will continue the initiation and completion phases of the research and development process of IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, and IR-8 centrifuges during the 10 year period of the Comprehensive Plan for Joint Action.

Fordow Facilities

According to the reached solutions, the Fordow nuclear facilities will be converted to an advanced nuclear and physics research center. More than 1,000 centrifuge machines and all related infrastructure in Fordow will be preserved and maintained, out of which two centrifuge cascades will be in operation. In addition, in cooperation with some of the countries of the P5+1, half of the Fordow facilities will be dedicated to advanced nuclear research and the production of stable isotopes that have important applications in industry, agriculture, and medicine.

Arak Heavy Water Research Reactor

In accordance with the existing solutions, the Arak heavy water research reactor will remain and will be enhanced and updated with re-modifications. In the redesigning of the reactor, in addition to decreasing the amount of plutonium production, the efficiency of the Arak reactor will be increased significantly. The re-modification of the Arak reactor will be undertaken in a designated timeframe and will be initiated in the form of a joint international project under the management of Iran, after which the construction will begin immediately in the framework of a comprehensive timeframe. The production of fuel for the Arak reactor and the granting of an international nuclear fuel license are among the issues that will be undertaken with international cooperation. On the other hand, the factory for the production of heavy water will continue to function as it has in the past.

Additional Protocol

Iran will implement the Additional Protocol on a voluntary and temporary basis for the sake of transparency and confidence building, and, in continuation, the approval process of the Protocol will be ratified within a specified timeframe under the mandate of the President and the Islamic Consultative Assembly.

Removal of Sanctions

According to the reached solutions, after the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action, all of the UN Security Council resolutions will be revoked, and all of the multilateral economic and financial sanctions of the EU and the unilateral ones of the US including financial, banking, insurance, investment, and all related services, including oil, gas, petrochemicals, and automobile industries will be immediately revoked. In addition, nuclear-related sanctions against real and legal individuals, entities, and public and private institutions, including the Central Bank, other financial and banking institutions, SWIFT, shipping and aviation industries of the Islamic Republic of Iran, oil tanker companies, will be immediately removed. Also, the P5+1 member countries are committed to restraining from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions.

International Cooperation

International nuclear cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran, including with members of the P5+1, will be possible and enhanced in the fields of constructing nuclear power plants, research reactors, nuclear fusion, stable isotopes, nuclear safety, nuclear medicine and agriculture, etc… According to the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action, Iran will also be provided access to the global market and the international trade, finance, technical knowledge and energy sectors.

Schedule for implementing Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action

At the end of this stage of negotiations, the drafting of the Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action will begin in the near future until the timeframe of 10 Tir (July 1). With the finalization of the text, the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action will be adopted as a resolution by the UN Security Council. For the Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action to be binding and executable for all UN member states, this resolution will be approved under Article 41 of Chapter Seven of the UN Charter like the previous resolutions against Iran so that these previous resolutions can be annulled.

The parties to the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action will need a timeframe for preparatory work for the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action once the resolution is approved by the Security Council. After the preparatory phase, and at the same time as the start of Iran’s nuclear-related implementation work, all of the sanctions will be automatically annulled on a single specified day.

In the framework of the reached solutions, violations from the mutually agreed accords contained in the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action by any one country will have predetermined mechanisms of response.

About the Author
Richard Chasman, 1934-2018, was a member of the Modern Orthodox community in Chicago. Professionally, he was a theoretical nuclear physicist. Richard, who described his perspective as "centrist," wrote a newsletter for more than 20 years called "Chovevai Tsion of Chicago," on subjects of interest to the Modern Orthodox community.
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