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– Hans Blix,
former IAEA Director-General

Nuclear Nonproliferation

The Iran Nuclear Deal is a Win for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Security

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Between now and Sept. 17, the U.S. Congress will face...

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A Discussion on the Impact and Next Steps

Tuesday, September 8, 2015
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Choate Room
1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 

Click Here to Register

Between now and Sept. 17, the U.S. Congress will face one of the most important national security decisions it has confronted in more than a decade: to oppose or support the agreed to Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The July 14 agreement between the United States, other world powers, and Iran will effectively and verifiably block all of Iran’s potential pathways to developing nuclear weapons.

Earlier this month, more than 70 nuclear nonproliferation experts announced their support for the agreement calling it a “net-plus for nuclear nonproliferation” and the security of the region. They join the ranks of a growing number of national security leaders, including 46 retired generals and admirals, 32 scientists, 100 former ambassadors, 60 national security advisors, 7 former undersecretaries of State and ambassadors to Israel, Israeli former generals, and the UN Security Council in support of the agreement.

Join us for a discussion on the impact of the agreement and the potential consequences of a rejection of the deal by the U.S. Congress.

Speakers include:

  • Colin Kahl, Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to the Vice President;
  • Ellie Geranmayeh, Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations;
  • George Perkovich, Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for Internatonal Peace;
  • Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, Arms Control Association; and
  • Daryl G. Kimballmoderator, Executive Director, Arms Control Association.

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons. 

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Posted: December 31, 1969

Frequently Asked Questions About the Iran Deal - Part One

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Volume 7, Issue 10, August 31, 2015

The following is an excerpt from the Arms Control Association newly updated report, "Solving the Iranian Nuclear Puzzle: The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action."

In response to the many inquiries we have received about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) over the course of the past several weeks, the Arms Control Association has compiled the following brief responses to the most frequently asked questions.  

1. Iran's Nuclear and Missile Programs

Is Iran still pursuing a covert nuclear weapons program?

No. According to evidence collected by and shared with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran had an organized nuclear weapons program, but abandoned it in 2003. These activities are referred to as the possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Iran's nuclear program and are actively being investigated by the IAEA. 

This corresponds with the assessment from the 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear program, which also stated with moderate confidence that Iran had not restarted its nuclear program. According to a 2011 IAEA report, activities that could be relevant to nuclear weapons development may have continued after 2003, but not as part of an organized program.

In the 2014 Worldwide Threat Assessment, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also said that Iran would not be able to divert safeguarded nuclear material and enrich enough to weapons grade for a bomb without discovery. 

Does Iran have or is it developing long-range ballistic missiles that could be armed with nuclear warheads? 

The U.S. intelligence community assesses that Iran may be technically capable of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with sufficient foreign assistance, but has not reported that they are doing so. 

To date, Iran has never tested any long-range missiles. Iran's longest-range systems (2,000 kilometers) are medium-range ballistic missiles, not ICBMs, as some have implied. Iran would need an ICBM with a range of over 9,000 kilometers to reach the United States. If Iran makes a concerted effort, deploying such a missile within ten years is theoretically possible, but unlikely. 

Additionally, if a comprehensive nuclear deal blocks Iran's potential pathways to a bomb, its ballistic missiles become less of a threat, because they cannot be armed with a nuclear weapon. 

2. Impact of the Joint Plan of Action

Did the 2013 interim agreement, or Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), halt advances in Iran's nuclear program?

Yes. The implementation of the November 2013 JPOA halted the expansion of Iran's nuclear program and rolled back the most proliferation-sensitive elements.  

Under the JPOA, Iran stopped enriching uranium to 20 percent, a key proliferation concern to the P5+1, because 20 percent enriched uranium is more easily enriched to weapons-grade material (greater than 90 percent U-235). Iran also took steps to neutralize its stockpile of 20 percent enriched-uranium gas. 

Iran halted major construction activities on its Arak heavy-water reactor, froze the number of its operating and installed centrifuges, and agreed to more intrusive inspections, including daily access to its enrichment facilities. Iran also agreed only to produce the centrifuges necessary to replace damaged machines.

Without the JPOA, Iran could have very significantly increased its uranium-enrichment capacity and possibly completed the Arak reactor.

Did Iran comply with the terms of the November 2013 JPOA, or did it violate it by operating an advanced centrifuge, the IR-5?

The IAEA's November 7, 2014 quarterly report noted that Iran began feeding natural uranium hexafluoride “intermittently” into a single IR-5 centrifuge at its pilot facility for the first time. While unhelpful, this was not a violation of the JPOA, which prohibits the use of advanced centrifuges to accumulate enriched uranium. However, to dispel any ambiguities, in the extension agreed to on November 24, 2014, Iran agreed not to feed the IR-5 with any uranium for the duration of the interim agreement.  

The IAEA has reported, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on November 24, 2014, that Iran upheld its commitments under the interim deal. 

3. Nuclear Negotiations with Iran

Did the UN Security Council resolutions require Iran to permanently halt enrichment, dismantle its enrichment facilities, and dismantle the heavy-water reactor at Arak?

No. Since July 2006, the Security Council has passed six resolutions calling on Iran to suspend its uranium-enrichment activities and suspend construction work on the heavy-water reactor at Arak. None of the six resolutions passed by the UN Security Council called for Iran to dismantle its enrichment facilities or permanently halt enrichment. The call for suspension was intended to push Iran to comply with the IAEA investigation into concerns about past activities possibly related to nuclear weapons development, and to promote a diplomatic resolution to the concerns over Iran's nuclear program.

During debate on the most recent resolution in June 2010, British Ambassador to the United Nations Mark Lyall Grant, speaking on behalf of the P5+1, said the resolution was intended to keep “the door open for continued engagement” with Iran over its nuclear program. He said that the purpose of such diplomatic efforts must be to achieve a comprehensive, long-term settlement, that respects Iran's legitimate right to the peaceful use of atomic energy. The Security Council resolutions were never intended to eliminate an Iranian civil nuclear program in the future that complies with the conditions of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Did President Obama shift U.S. policy from stopping Iranian enrichment to managing it?

No. Beginning in mid-2006, it was the George W. Bush administration that shifted U.S. policy and opened the door for Iran to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes if it met certain conditions.

The 2006 proposal states that the enrichment moratorium could be lifted if Iran demonstrates “credible and coherent economic rationale in support of the existing civilian power generation program.” Additionally, Iran would have been required to declare all nuclear facilities, demonstrate that it had no secret nuclear programs, and answer outstanding questions about the military aspects of its nuclear program.

It is a formula with some similar characteristics to the agreement reached in 2015 by the P5+1 and Iran.

By allowing Iran to continue its uranium-enrichment program, is the P5+1 recognizing a “right to enrich” under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)?

Article IV of the NPT grants non-nuclear weapons states access to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes in return for pledging not to pursue nuclear weapons and meeting their IAEA safeguards obligations. The NPT, however, does not specifically grant or deny enrichment and spent fuel reprocessing rights to member states. Iran interprets the treaty to include a “right to enrich” and has insisted that its right to enrichment be “respected” under a nuclear agreement.

The U.S. policy does not recognize a “right to enrich” under the NPT. In the interim agreement and in the JCPOA, the United States and its P5+1 partners acknowledged that Iran has an enrichment program and will retain a limited enrichment program commensurate with its “practical needs” for its civil nuclear activities.

Acknowledging that a program exists is not the same as acknowledging that a treaty affords a “right.” The United States has done the former, not the latter. And, after reaching the interim agreement in November 2013, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated that U.S. policy remains unchanged and since then has repeatedly said: “there is no inherent right to enrich.”

Why doesn’t the JCPOA require Iran to completely dismantle its nuclear weapons capability?

Iran has had a nuclear weapons capability, but has chosen not to develop nuclear weapons. The 2007 National Intelligence Estimate assessed that Iran has developed a range of technologies, including uranium enrichment, nuclear warhead mechanics, and delivery systems, that would give it the option to launch a nuclear weapons development effort in a relatively short time frame “if it so chooses.” 

Eliminating that capability, including the knowledge, is, for all practical purposes, not possible. Even if Iran were required to completely “dismantle” its nuclear infrastructure, it could rebuild it. Tougher sanctions or a military strike also will not eliminate the knowledge and basic industrial capacity that Iran has developed and could rebuild.

When did the arms embargo and ballistic missile sanctions become an issue in the negotiations?

The UN arms embargo and ballistic missile sanctions were imposed on Iran as part of Security Council Resolution 1929 on Iran’s nuclear activities and were designed to help push Iran to the negotiating table. Following the conclusion of their framework agreement in April 2015, the two sides debated intensely over when to lift the UN Security Council-imposed heavy arms embargo and the ballistic missile restrictions emerged. Iran, along with Russia and China, argued for ending them upon implementation of the JCPOA, while the United States insisted on maintaining them for an extended period of time. The final agreement, which secures ongoing restrictions on heavy arms transfers to Iran and on Iran’s ballistic missile activities for five and eight years respectively, was a major achievement in the negotiations for the United States.

How effective are the existing multilateral constraints on ballistic missile development/proliferation?

Not all ballistic missiles pose equal risk. Ballistic missiles capable of carrying a 500 kilogram payload over 300 kilometers are generally recognized as having the minimum capability needed for delivering a nuclear weapon. A multilateral regime known as the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is designed to limit the transfer of these systems, or related technologies, to nonmember countries (Iran is not a member). All of the P5+1 countries are members of the regime, except China, which voluntarily adheres to its guidelines. The MTCR restrictions have not stopped Iran’s program, but have inhibited Iran’s development of solid-fueled ballistic missiles. Additionally, U.S. restrictions on ballistic missiles will remain in place, as will UN restrictions on transferring ballistic missiles to Hezbollah.—KELSEY DAVENPORT and DARYL G. KIMBALL
 

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons. 

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Posted: December 31, 1969

Statement by Daryl G. Kimball to the 25th UN Conference on Disarmament Issues, Hiroshima, Japan

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In the seven decades since the U.S. atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have become ...

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Addressing the Disarmament Deficit
Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director 

25th United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues, Hiroshima, Japan
August 27, 2015

In the seven decades since the U.S. atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have become less and less relevant to the security of possessor states and their allies and the potential harm of their further use has become even more harmful to international security and human survival.

Yet the threat of nuclear war remains. As President Obama said in June 2013 in Berlin: “ … so long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not truly safe.”

And thanks to the moving and inspiring testimonials of the hibakusha many of us have heard this week, we are better able to understand why the use of nuclear weapons is inhumane and unacceptable under any circumstances. 

To ensure the NPT and the broader global nuclear disarmament enterprise remains dynamic and effective, all states-parties must provide leadership and take action to fulfill the treaty’s lofty goals and aspirations.

Unfortunately, rather than help to advance the disarmament cause, the 2015 NPT review conference exposed the imperfections of the NPT and the divisions among key parties.

In addition, to the division on the Middle East Zone conference, the states-parties failed to produce an updated, meaningful action plan on disarmament that builds on the commitments they made at the 2010 review conference.

Although the recent downturn in U.S.-Russian relations and growing U.S.-Chinese tensions have made progress difficult, this does not excuse the NPT nuclear weapon states from their NPT Article VI disarmament commitments.

Without further U.S. and Russian nuclear reductions, until at least 2021, the United States and Russia will deploy more than 1,500 strategic warheads on several hundred bombers and missiles—far more than necessary to deter nuclear attack. If these weapons were used even in a “limited” way, the result would be catastrophic nuclear devastation. 

Making matters worse, the United States and Russia are both modernizing their Cold War nuclear inventories, which will cost of several hundred billion dollars over the next ten years.

Other nuclear arms states—China, India, and Pakistan in particular—are all pursuing new ballistic missile, cruise missile, and sea-based nuclear delivery systems. Pakistan has dangerously lowered the threshold for nuclear weapons use by developing tactical nuclear weapons capabilities to counter perceived Indian conventional military threats. 

And North Korea continues its nuclear pursuits in violation of its earlier denuclearization pledges and the NPT and may conduct yet another nuclear weapon test explosion. 

While they agreed to draft conference language outlining some useful new disarmament concepts, the nuclear weapon states did not come to the conference with significant new proposals for progress on disarmament, and they successfully brushed aside calls for new benchmarks and timelines on previous commitments.

In response, 114 governments joined an Austrian-led initiative known as the “Humanitarian Pledge,” which calls on states "to identify and pursue effective measures to fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons."   

Some states and civil society campaigners interpret this to mean that negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons possession and use should begin.

A ban is a necessary step toward a world without nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, will not, by itself, change dangerous nuclear doctrines or eliminate nuclear arsenals of the world’s nuclear-armed states. It is not a panacea for the hard work and bold leadership necessary to change the status quo. 

Thus, additional creative initiatives, new ideas, and bolder leadership are required to move forward.

And, as Amb. Kellerman of South Africa has reminded us, given that the next NPT Review Conference is five years away, given that the Conference on Disarmament is dysfunctional, a new and meaningful forum to develop and launch effective disarmament measures is required.

The following concepts and initiatives may help catalyze meaningful action:

1. Convene nuclear disarmament summits. As Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn, William Perry, and George Shultz argued in an op-ed in 2013, a new multilateral effort for nuclear disarmament dialogue is needed.

In 2009, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon suggested that the UN Security Council convene a summit on nuclear disarmament.

I welcome Amb. Kang of the United States expressing support for the concept in the 2015 NPT draft conference document regarding an “open-ended working group” to “elaborate effective measures for the full implementation of Article VI of the treaty.” The working group could allow for the continuation of the discussions at the NPT Review Conference on disarmament and the introduction of practical new proposals for breaking the current deadlock.

Another, more impactful approach would be for a group of concerned states to organize a high-level conference involving the leaders of a representative group of 20-30 nuclear and nonnuclear armed states to a two- to three-day summit on the pursuit of a joint enterprise to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.

The first such high-level meeting could be held in Hiroshima or elsewhere in Japan in 2016 on the margins of the G-7 Summit. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has opened the door to such a gathering with his very important invitation for other world leaders to visit Hiroshima at that time.

This could be an historic, new, and productive starting point to rejuvenate the nuclear disarmament effort. To bring all key states together is should be based on two principles: 1) a clear understanding of the humanitarian impact of the use of nuclear weapons; and 2) an objective assessment of the security concerns of states, including the threats posed by a range of nuclear risks.

All participants should be encouraged to bring “house gifts”—specific actions by states that would concretely reduce the threat of nuclear weapons use, freeze or reduce numbers of nuclear weapons, reduce the role of nuclear weapons, or make their nuclear programs more transparent.

For instance, the United States and Russia could jointly announce they will resume negotiations on a follow-on to the New START agreement, and/or one or more CTBT Annex II states could announce they have taken concrete steps to sign or ratify the treaty.

Such a summit could provide much-needed new momentum on disarmament.

2. Accelerate U.S.-Russian nuclear cuts and freeze other nuclear-armed nation stockpiles. Further nuclear reductions need not wait for a new U.S.-Russian arms control treaty. The United States and Russia could accelerate the pace of reductions under New START to reach the agreed limits before the 2018 deadline. As long as both sides continue to reduce force levels below the treaty limits, U.S. and Russian leaders could undertake parallel, verifiable reductions well below New START ceilings.

Other countries must get off the disarmament sidelines, particularly China, France, India and Pakistan, which continue to improve their nuclear capabilities. These states are all pursuing new ballistic missile, cruise missile, and sea-based nuclear delivery systems. In addition, Pakistan has dangerously lowered the threshold for nuclear weapons use by developing tactical nuclear weapons capabilities to counter perceived Indian conventional military threats.

To start, the world’s other nuclear-armed states should pledge not to increase the overall size of their stockpiles as long as U.S. and Russian reductions continue.  

A unified push for further U.S.-Russian arms cuts, combined with a global nuclear weapons freeze by the other nuclear-armed states, could create the conditions for multilateral action on disarmament.

3. Follow through on the CTBT. Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the negotiation and the opening for signature of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

In the interest of global security and out of respect for the victims and survivors of nuclear testing, it is past time to bring the treaty into force.                 

Despite statements of support for the CTBT from China and the United States, neither state has taken sufficient action to ratify the treaty. Stronger leadership from Washington and Beijing is overdue and necessary. 

Other states must do their part too. Ratification by Egypt, Iran, and Israel—three other key CTBT holdouts—would also reduce nuclear weapons-related security concerns in the Middle East and help create the conditions necessary for the realization of a zone free of weapons of mass destruction—or in the very least, a nuclear weapons test free zone.

As Amb. Badr of Egypt eloquently noted, we must respect the wishes of the hibakusha, and it is clear that one of their wishes is the CTBT. And, I agree with him that states cannot pick and choose which NPT commitments they decide to meet and which ones they do not. And so, I would like to invite Amb. Badr to explain whether Egypt still supports the CTBT and explain when Egypt plans to join the treaty.

Neither India nor Pakistan say they want to resume testing, yet their governments have failed to take a serious look at joining the CTBT, which, despite their protestations, is a non-discriminatory measure that would help reduce nuclear tensions throughout Asia.

Even if action by these states toward ratification begins soon, the entry into force of the CTBT is many years away, and it is vital that the international community seek ways to reinforce the global taboo against nuclear testing pending CTBT entry into force. 

To do so, it would be wise for the members of the UN Security Council to consider the adoption of a resolution next year that determines that nuclear testing by any state is a threat to international peace and security. Or the key nuclear testing states could issue a joint statement underscoring their commitment to the CTBT and the test moratorium.

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None of these options is easy or simple, but without fresh thinking and renewed action on the 70-year old problem of nuclear weapons, the risk of the further use of nuclear weapons use will grow.

Posted: December 31, 1969

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, August 27

Special IAEA Board Meeting On Iran The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano convened a meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors on Aug. 25 to discuss the agency’s role in implementing the nuclear deal Iran and six world powers reached on July 14. In opening remarks to the Board, Amano said that with the Board’s approval the agency is “ready to undertake the necessary work” to implement the additional monitoring and transparency measures laid out in the deal, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and has the expertise to do so. Amano requested...

Restrictions on Iran’s Nuclear Program: Beyond 15 Years

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Absent the Iran nuclear agreement, Iran’s capacity to enrich uranium could rapidly increase and sharply reduce the time it would take Iran to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, August 25, 2015 (Updated Aug. 26)

Experts and analysts broadly agree that the nuclear deal struck between the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) and Iran on July 14 will effectively and verifiably block Iran’s potential pathways to nuclear weapons for 15 years or more. Absent the agreement, Iran’s capacity to enrich uranium could rapidly increase and sharply reduce the time it would take Iran to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon.

Although several key restrictions on Iran’s uranium-enrichment capacity and its stockpile of enriched uranium will expire after 15 years, the deal—known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—establishes several other restrictions and tools that will help constrain and provide deep insights into Iran’s nuclear program far beyond the first 15-year period.

These restrictions include a more intrusive and permanent inspections regime that will provide the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) far greater access to and information about Iran’s nuclear program than under the current safeguards regime. Among these are continuous monitoring of Iran’s uranium mining activities and its centrifuge manufacturing sites. In addition, the JCPOA permanently prohibits Iran from conducting certain “activities which could contribute to the design and development of a nuclear explosive device.”

Taken together, these additional restrictions and transparency measures will provide the international community with a powerful set of tools to promptly detect and deter an Iranian attempt to pursue nuclear weapons well beyond the initial 15-year period.

To reinforce the JCPOA in the out-years, the United States, its P5+1 partners, and other countries in the region can and should make the most of the time provided by the JCPOA to pursue additional measures that would decrease Iran’s incentive and its justification for expanding its indigenous uranium-enrichment program and also guard against the pursuit of dangerous, dual-use nuclear fuel cycle activities by other states in the region.

This issue brief describes some of these options as well as the JCPOA restrictions that will help bound Iran’s nuclear capabilities 15 years after the implementation of the deal.

Increased Monitoring and Transparency

After 15 years a number of intrusive monitoring and verification mechanisms remain in place that will give the international community a clearer picture of Iran’s nuclear program and an early warning if Iran intends to increase its enrichment capacity.

The IAEA will be able to continuously monitor Iran’s production of centrifuges for 20 years and it will be able to continuously monitor uranium mines and mills for 25 years. Taken together, the continuous surveillance on these elements will help ensure that the IAEA and the international community will be aware of Iran’s capabilities and resources, allowing for assessment of how quickly Iran could ramp up its program and produce enough material for a nuclear weapon.

Even after these restrictions sunset, the deal puts in place a more intrusive inspections regime as compared to what Iran is currently subject to by the IAEA.

Implementation, and eventual ratification, of Iran’s additional protocol will allow for short-notice inspections at all of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Inspectors can access Iran’s declared nuclear facilities in as little as two hours if they are already on site. This is particularly important for monitoring Iran’s uranium-enrichment facilities.

The expanded nuclear declaration under Iran’s additional protocol will include more facilities than are counted under Iran’s current comprehensive safeguards agreement—such as the uranium mines and heavy-water production plant.

Iran’s additional protocol, once ratified, is permanent. Iran voluntarily implemented it between 2003-2006, but did not ratify the document. The JCPOA requires Iran to seek ratification within eight years. 

As part of the JCPOA, Iran will also implement modified Code 3.1 to its safeguards agreement. Under the terms of Code 3.1 Iran must notify the IAEA when it decides to build a nuclear facility (rather than simply six months prior to introducing nuclear material) and provide updates on the design of existing nuclear facilities. This will give the IAEA additional warning if Iran intends to expand its nuclear program, and adjust the safeguards approach accordingly. 

The IAEA's ability to request access to undeclared sites to investigate concerns about illicit nuclear activity is also permanent under Iran’s additional protocol. Without the JCPOA, which ensures ratification of Iran’s additional protocol, the IAEA will have no mechanism to request access to undeclared nuclear sites to check for illicit activities.

Under the Model Additional Protocol, if the agency has concerns about a particular site the agency will provide that country with the reasons for its concerns. The country must then respond to the IAEA’s request. If the explanation does not satisfy the IAEA, it can request access to the site. Under its additional protocol, Iran, like any other country, can take some steps to protect sensitive information if, for instance, the inspection is on a military facility. But ultimately, it is up to the IAEA to determine if the access is sufficient. 

Under the Model Additional Protocol, the agency does not have to allow a country time to respond to evidence or concern if a “delay in access would prejudice the purpose for which the access is sought.”

The IAEA can refer the case to its Board of Governors and the UN Security Council if it unsatisfied with Iran’s compliance.

Permanent Restrictions

Iran also agreed to permanent restrictions prohibiting activities relevant to developing a nuclear explosive device under the JCPOA. While Iran committed not to pursue nuclear weapons when it joined the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the JCPOA commits Iran to adhere to restrictions beyond its NPT obligations.

The NPT does not explicity prohibit research or use of explosives suitable for nuclear weapons for non-nuclear purposes. Iran has asserted that some of its past activities with possible military dimensions (PMDs) that the IAEA has been investigating were for non-nuclear weapons purposes.

Under the deal, however, Iran can no longer make this dubious claim. Iran agreed to forgo computer modeling to simulate nuclear explosive devices, testing, developing, or acquiring multi-point explosives and neutron sources, and development and designing of nuclear explosive diagnostic systems (Annex I Section T). 

While some of these activities are relevant for developing conventional explosives and for activities like drilling, in the future, if caught conducting research in these areas, Iran will not be able to claim it is undertaking any of these activities for non-nuclear purposes.

The JCPOA also closes the door on the plutonium pathway to nuclear weapons indefinitely. As part of the deal, Iran said it never intends to reprocess spent fuel, the process by which weapons-grade plutonium is removed from spent reactor fuel. Iran also said it intends to ship out all spent fuel from any future reactors. 

Decrease Incentives

The JCPOA is a strong, verifiable, agreement from a nonproliferation viewpoint, but the United States, along with its P5+1 partners and countries in the Middle East, can and should take steps to further decrease Iran’s motivation and justification to significantly ramp up its enrichment capacity after 15 years.

Fuel Supply Guarantees

Civil nuclear cooperation between certain nuclear supplier states and Iran can and should be designed to ensure that Iran has assured access to the nuclear fuel for its research and power reactors so that Tehran has less of a “practical need” to significantly expand its uranium-enrichment program beyond the capacity allowed under the JCPOA for the first 10-15 years. Pursuing this strategy would prevent Iran from justifying increased enrichment capacity based on a need to domestically produce reactor fuel to ensure continuity of supply.

Under the terms of the JCPOA, Iran will domestically fuel the Arak reactor, once the reactor is modified and Iran is able to produce fuel assemblies for the reactor. Iran’s enrichment capacity under the first 10 years of the deal, 5,060 IR-1 centrifuges, is more than enough to provide fuel for the reactor on an annual basis.

Iran claims that it wants to provide fuel for its power reactor at Bushehr, which is currently supplied by Russia. That would require the equivalent of over 100,000 IR-1 centrifuges.

Any country that enters into a contract with Iran to supply additional power reactors could provide fuel supply guarantees for the lifespan of the reactor, and arrangements to take back the spent fuel so as to deny Iran access to the unseparated plutonium in the spent fuel. Iran’s current memorandum of understanding with Russia for the provision of additional power reactors at the Bushehr site already includes this kind of arrangement.

If necessary, to provide additional assurances that there will be no fuel supply disruption, Russia could deliver to Iran enough fuel for several years at a time. Fuel could be stored under IAEA seal until it is used.

China is also currently in discussions with Iran about supplying nuclear power reactors and should be strongly encouraged to ensure that any reactor contracts include lifetime fuel supplies and spent fuel removal arrangements. This example could be employed region-wide to decrease the incentives of other countries considering nuclear power programs from pursuing enrichment.

The United States and its P5+1 partners should also work to ensure that the IAEA fuel bank, is fully funded and supplied. Kazakhstan and the IAEA will sign an agreement establishing the fuel bank on Aug. 27, 2015. The fuel bank is designed to ensure uninterrupted fuel supplies for nuclear reactors and prevent the withholding of fuel from supplier countries for political reasons. If for some reason Russia was unable or unwilling to supply Iran’s reactors, Tehran could obtain nuclear fuel from the IAEA bank.

Strengthen Regional Norms

Iran has stated in the past that it would be willing to accept permanent enrichment restrictions, such as capping enrichment levels at reactor grade (enriched to less than five percent U-235), if other countries in the region agreed to similar restrictions. A regional commitment to forgo enrichment to higher levels could serve as a major confidence building measure against further proliferation in the region. Another possible confidence building measure could be to encourage all states in the region to commit to continuous IAEA monitoring, similar to what Iran agreed to for its nuclear supply chain, on key nuclear facilities region-wide.

Another option for increasing regional confidence in the peaceful nature of Tehran’s activities would be to “multilateralize” Iran’s existing uranium-enrichment facility, providing regional oversight and nuclear fuel for countries pursuing nuclear power in the Middle East. 

Regional countries that invest in the enrichment facility would be able to have their personnel access and monitor the facilities, thus providing a greater degree of confidence that Tehran’s nuclear activities are peaceful and it could help prevent stockpiles of enriched uranium from accumulating in Iran.

Regional inspections could also provide greater transparency and assurance that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful. Brazil and Argentina, both of which pursued nuclear weapons programs and now have domestic uranium enrichment, have a bilateral inspections agreement known as the ABACC arrangement (Argentina-Brazil Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials), which augments the standard IAEA safeguards system for those states.

Despite the checkered past of both countries in nuclear weapons research, the bilateral inspections help provide assurance that neither country is currently pursuing nuclear weapons.

Conclusion

While some of the restrictions on Iran’s uranium-enrichment capacity expire after 15 years, other measures remain in place, some of which are permanent. The United States, it P5+1 partners, and countries in the region also have a number of options to strengthen the deal and dis-incentivize Iran from ramping up its uranium enrichment 15 years after implementation of the JCPOA.

If Congress rejects the deal, Iran’s nuclear program will be free of the long-term restrictions and more intrusive monitoring system mandated by the JCPOA.

On the other hand, the JCPOA provides a solid formula for blocking Iran’s ability to build nuclear weapons for at least 15 years, and the time necessary to pursue and implement complimentary initiatives to head off the possibility that Iran will try to pursue an expansion of its nuclear program over the long-term.—KELSEY DAVENPORT

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the dangers posed by the world's most dangerous weapons. 

Country Resources:

Posted: December 31, 1969

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, August 20

Iran Meets First Deadline as Debate in Washington Heats Up The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed on Aug. 15 that Iran turned over information on schedule for the agency’s investigation into the past possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Iran’s nuclear program. According to the timeline agreed to by Iran and the IAEA, Iran had to submit the information by Aug. 15. The IAEA has until Sept. 15 to ask any clarifying questions. Iran has one month to respond. The agency aims to complete its report by Dec. 15. Iran will not receive any sanctions relief until the IAEA determines it...

Environmental Sampling in Iran

On 14 July 2015, after more than two years of intensive negotiations, the E3/EU+3* and Iran agreed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on ensuring the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear activities. On the same day, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran agreed on a work plan called the ‘Road-map for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran's nuclear program’. Under the road map, the IAEA and Iran also concluded separate arrangements to address the issues of (a) a possible military dimension to Iran’s nuclear programme as set...

70-Plus Nuclear Nonproliferation Experts Announce Support for Iran Nuclear Deal

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More than 70 of the world's leading nuclear nonproliferation specialists issued a joint statement outlining why the Iran nuclear deal...

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More Than 70 Nuclear Nonproliferation Experts Announce Support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

 Iran Nuclear Deal "A Net-Plus for International Nuclear Nonproliferation"

For Immediate Release: August 18, 2015

Media Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, 202-463-8270 ext. 107; Timothy Farnsworth, communications director, 202-463-8270 x110.

(Washington, D.C.)—More than 70 of the world's leading nuclear nonproliferation specialists issued a joint statement outlining why the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) “is a strong, long-term, and verifiable agreement that will be a net-plus for international nuclear nonproliferation efforts.”

The group of experts write in their statement that the July 14 agreement “ … advances the security interests of the P5+1 nations (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Union, their allies and partners in the Middle East, and the international community."

In the statement, which is endorsed by former U.S. nuclear negotiators, former senior U.S. nonproliferation officials, a former director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a former member of the UN Panel of Experts on Iran, and leading nuclear specialists from the United States and around the globe, the experts "… urge the leaders of the P5+1 states, the European Union, and Iran to take the steps necessary to ensure timely implementation and rigorous compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”

The statement concludes: “… we believe the JCPOA meets key nonproliferation and security objectives and see no realistic prospect for a better nuclear agreement."

The agreement, which was negotiated by the P5+1 and Iran and has been approved by the UN Security Council, will be voted on by the U.S. Congress in September. The JCPOA will establish long-term, verifiable restrictions on Iran's sensitive nuclear fuel cycle activities, many of which will last for 10 years, some for 15 years, some for 25 years, with enhanced IAEA monitoring under Iran's additional protocol agreement with the IAEA and modified code 3.1 safeguards provisions lasting indefinitely.

“This statement from more than 70 of the world’s leading nonproliferation specialists underscores, as President Barack Obama recently noted, the majority of arms control and non-proliferation experts support the P5+1 and Iran nuclear deal,” said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, which organized the nonproliferation specialists' statement.

The full text of the statement is available below. You can also download a PDF version, here.

——————

The Comprehensive P5+1 Nuclear Agreement With Iran:
A Net-Plus for Nonproliferation
 
Statement from Nuclear Nonproliferation Specialists
August 17, 2015

 
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a strong, long-term, and verifiable agreement that will be a net-plus for international nuclear nonproliferation efforts. 
 
It advances the security interests of the P5+1 nations (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Union, their allies and partners in the Middle East, and the international community.
 
When implemented, the JCPOA will establish long-term, verifiable restrictions on Iran's enrichment facilities and research and development, including advanced centrifuge research and deployment. Taken in combination with stringent limitations on Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile, these restrictions ensure that Iran’s capability to produce enough bomb-grade uranium sufficient for one weapon would be extended to approximately 12 months for a decade or more.
 
Moreover, the JCPOA will effectively eliminate Iran’s ability to produce and separate plutonium for a nuclear weapon for at least 15 years, including by permanently modifying the Arak reactor, Iran’s major potential source for weapons grade plutonium, committing Iran not to reprocess spent fuel, and shipping spent fuel out of the country.
 
The JCPOA is effectively verifiable. The agreement will put in place a multi-layered monitoring regime across Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain, including centrifuge manufacturing sites (for 20 years), uranium mining and milling (for 25 years), and continuous monitoring of a larger number of nuclear and nuclear-related sites.
 
The JCPOA requires Iran to implement and ratify the additional protocol to Iran’s comprehensive safeguards agreement, which significantly enhances the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) inspection regime. Among other measures, this will give international inspectors timely access to any Iranian facility of proliferation concern, including military sites, which the JCPOA will ensure cannot be stalled more than 24 days without serious consequences.
 
In addition, the JCPOA puts in place safeguards that require early notification of design changes or new nuclear projects by Iran (the modified code 3.1 provision). The additional protocol and code 3.1 monitoring and verification measures will remain in place indefinitely.
 
The JCPOA also requires that Iran cooperate with the IAEA to conclude its long-running investigation of Iran's past activities with possible military dimensions (PMDs) and permanently prohibits certain dual-use activities, which could contribute to the design and development of a nuclear explosive device.
 
Taken together, these rigorous limits and transparency measures will make it very likely that any future effort by Iran to pursue nuclear weapons, even a clandestine program, would be detected promptly, providing the opportunity to intervene decisively to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
 
The agreement requires that Iran undertake major steps—including to reduce its uranium enrichment capacity, modify the Arak reactor, allow for more intrusive international monitoring, and cooperate with the IAEA’s PMD investigation—before UN Security Council, U.S., and EU economic and financial sanctions are suspended or terminated, and it provides for swift consequences in the event of noncompliance.
 
If all sides comply with and faithfully implement their multi-year obligations, the agreement will reduce the risk of a destabilizing nuclear competition in a troubled region – giving time and space to address other regional problems without fear of an Iran armed with nuclear weapons—and head off a catastrophic military conflict over Iran's nuclear program.
 
Though all of us could find ways to improve the text, we believe the JCPOA meets key nonproliferation and security objectives and see no realistic prospect for a better nuclear agreement.
 
We urge the leaders of the P5+1 states, the European Union, and Iran to take the steps necessary to ensure timely implementation and rigorous compliance with the JCPOA.
 
 
Endorsed by:

Amb. Nobuyasu Abe, Commissioner of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission* and former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, former Director-General for Arms Control and Science Affairs of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

James Acton, Co-Director, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace*

John Ahearne, former Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Steve Andreasen, former Director for Defense Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council staff (1993-2001), consultant to the Nuclear Threat Initiative* 

Dr. Bruce Blair, Research Scholar, Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University

Dr. Barry Blechman, Co-Founder, Stimson Center*

Hans Blix, former Director General of the IAEA

Avis Bohlen, former Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, U.S. Department of State

Amb. (ret.) Kenneth C. Brill, Ambassador to the IAEA (2001-2004) and Founding Director of the U.S. National Counterproliferation Center (2005-2009) 

Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice, Harvard Kennedy School, and former adviser to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Susan F. Burk, former Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation, and former Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of State

Sandra Ionno Butcher, Executive Director, Pugwash Conferences on Science & World Affairs (International)*

John Carlson, Counselor, Nuclear Threat Initiative, former Director General, Australian Safeguards and Nonproliferation Office

Joseph Cirincione, President, Ploughshares Fund

Tom Z. Collina, Director of Policy, Ploughshares Fund, and former Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Institute for Science and International Security and the Director of the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists

Avner Cohen, Professor of Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey*

Philip E. Coyle, former Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy 

Toby Dalton, Co-Director, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace*

Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, Arms Control Association

Amb. Jayantha Dhanapala, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs

Amb. Sergio Duarte, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs

Robert J. Einhorn, former U.S. Department of State Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control and former negotiator on the Iran nuclear talks

Dina Esfandiary, MacArthur Fellow, Centre for Science and Security Studies, Department of War Studies, Kings College London

Trevor Findlay, Senior Research Fellow, Project on Managing the Atom, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University 

Richard L. Garwin, former Chair of the Arms Control and Nonproliferation Advisory Board of the U.S Department of State

Murray Gell-Mann, recipient of the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics, Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology, and Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department of the University of New Mexico**

Ellie Geranmayeh, Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations*

Ilan Goldenberg, former Iran Team Chief, Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense

Dr. Lisbeth Gronlund, Co-Director and Senior Scientist, Global Security Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

Morton H. Halperin, former Director of Policy Planning, U.S. Department of State

Laicie Heeley, Fellow, Stimson Center*

John D. Holum, former Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and former Principal Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on Arms Control**

Paul Ingram, Executive Director, British American Security Information Council

Raymond Jeanloz, Chair, National Academy of Sciences Committee on International Security and Arms Control*

Angela Kane, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs**

Togzhan Kassenova, Associate, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace*

R. Scott Kemp, assistant professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT, former science advisor to the U.S. Department of State’s Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control 

Duyeon Kim, Associate, Nuclear Policy Program and Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace*

Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, Arms Control Association

Michael Krepon, Co-Founder, Stimson Center* 

Ellen Laipson, President and CEO, Stimson Center*

Dr. Edward Levine, former Senior Professional Staff Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1997-2011) and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (1976-1997) 

Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey* and Director of East Asia Non-Proliferation Program at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies*

Jan Lodal, former Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense

Jessica T. Mathews, Distinguished Fellow, former President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace*

Fred McGoldrick, former Director of the Office of Nonproliferation and Export Policy, U.S. Department of State

Oliver Meier, Deputy Head, International Security Division, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)*

Dr. Zia Mian, Director of the Project on Peace and Security in South Asia at the Program on Science and Global Security, Princeton University

Adam Mount, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations*

Richard Nephew, former Principal Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy at the Department of State, and Director for Iran on the National Security Staff

George Perkovich, Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace* 

Amb. Thomas R. Pickering, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Russian Federation, India, Israel, and Jordan

Steve Pifer, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, and retired career Foreign Service officer 

Paul R. Pillar, former U.S. National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia

Valerie Plame, former covert CIA operations officer

William Potter, Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar Professor of Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey*

Tariq Rauf, former Head of Verification and Security Policy Coordination, Office reporting to the Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency, and Director of the Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)* 

Laura Rockwood, Executive Director, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation,* and former section head for nonproliferation and policymaking in the Office of Legal Affairs of the IAEA (1985-2013) 

Joan Rohlfing, President and Chief Operating Officer, Nuclear Threat Initiative*

Dr. Randy Rydell, former Senior Political Affairs Officer in the Office of the High Representative for Disarmament, United Nations

Scott D. Sagan, The Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science, Stanford University

Thomas Shea, former IAEA Safeguards Official, and former Head of the IAEA Trilateral Initiative Office, and former Sector Head of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Programs, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Shen Dingli, Professor and Director, Program on Arms Control and Regional Security, and Associate Dean, Institute of International Studies, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Jacqueline Shire, former member of United Nations Panel of Experts (Iran) established under Security Council Resolution 1929 (2010)

Leonard S. Spector, Deputy Director, Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies,* and former Assistant Deputy Administrator for Arms Control and Nonproliferation at the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration

Sharon Squassoni, Senior Fellow and Director, Proliferation Prevention Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies*

Ariane M. Tabatabai, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Security Studies Program at the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service*

Honorable Ellen O. Tauscher, former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, U.S. Department of State, seven-term Member of House of Representatives, and Chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee (2006-2009) 

Greg Thielmann, former Director of the Strategic, Proliferation and Military Affairs Office in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research

Dr. Ali Vaez, Senior Iran Analyst, International Crisis Group 

Frank von Hippel, former Assistant Director for National Security, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Dr. James Walsh, Research Associate at the Security Studies Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Honorable Andy Weber, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs, U.S. Department of Defense

Larry Weiler, former Special Assistant to the Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and a negotiator of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

Amb. Joseph Wilson (ret.), former Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton and Senior Director at the National Security Council

Joel S. Wit, Visiting Scholar at U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS, Senior Research Fellow at Columbia University Weatherhead Institute for East Asian Studies, and former Coordinator for the U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework (1995-1999)

Dr. David Wright, Co-Director and Senior Scientist, Global Security Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

Amb. Norman A. Wulf, U.S. Department of State (ret.), and Special Representative of the President for Nuclear Nonproliferation (1999-2002) 

*Institution listed for identification purposes only.
**Endorsement received after August 18 release date.

###

The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

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Posted: December 31, 1969

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, August 11

Congressional Recess is Here During the first full week of the congressional recess, top administration officials continue to make the rounds explaining the nonproliferation value of the comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in New York today to discuss the deal with Thomson Reuters. Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz will join a live webcast to explain the deal on Thursday, August 13. In the last several days, a number of senators have come out in favor of the deal, including Angus King (I-Maine), Kristin Gillibrand, (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Amy...

Appendix C: Iran-IAEA Framework 
for Cooperation

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Table of Contents

Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) signed a separate agreement on July 14, 2015 to resolve the agency’s outstanding concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and possible weaponization activities. The alleged weaponization activities are frequently referred to as the possible military dimensions, or PMDs. 

Although much of Iran’s nuclear program consists of dual-use technology that can be dedicated to civil nuclear energy and nuclear weapons use, Tehran is widely believed to have been engaged in a series of activities that can be used for the development of a nuclear warhead. U.S. intelligence estimates have long referred to these activities as evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. 

In November 2011, the IAEA released information in an annex to its quarterly report that detailed Iran’s suspected warhead work based on intelligence it received from the United States and several other countries, as well as its own investigation.20 According to the report, Iran was engaged in an effort prior to the end of 2003 that spanned the full range of nuclear weapons development, from acquiring the raw nuclear material to working on a weapon that could eventually be delivered via a missile. 

The series of projects that made up Iran’s nuclear program, which the IAEA in its November 2011 report called “the AMAD Plan,” appears to have been overseen by senior Iranian figures who were engaged in working-level correspondence consistent with a coordinated program.21 

There are 12 main areas for investigation that the IAEA laid out in the November 2011 annex: 1) program management and structure; 2) procurement activities; 3) nuclear material acquisition; 4) nuclear components for an explosive device; 5) detonator development; 6) initiation of high explosives and associated experiments; 7) hydrodynamic experiments; 8) modeling and calculations; 9) neutron initiator; 10) conducting a test; 11) integration into a missile delivery vehicle; and 12) fusing, arming, and firing system.  

Iran has denied pursuing a warhead-development program and claims that the information on which the IAEA assessment is based is a fabrication.

On November 11, 2013, Iran and the IAEA reached an agreement outlining Tehran’s cooperation with the agency’s investigation into Iran’s past nuclear activities with possible military dimensions and to clarify the agency's unresolved concerns about Iran's nuclear program. The parties agreed on a step-by-step process to address all of the outstanding issues. Implementation of the framework proceeded on schedule, until Iran missed an August 25, 2014 deadline to provide information on two weaponization activities. Prior to that, Iran met two deadlines and provided information on 16 other areas of concern. The areas in which Iran has already provided information are as follows: 

  • Provide mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Gchine mine in Bandar Abbas.
  • Provide mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Heavy Water Production Plant.
  • Provide information on all new research reactors.
  • Provide information with regard to the identification of 16 sites designated for the construction of nuclear power plants.
  • Provide clarification of the announcement made by Iran regarding additional enrichment facilities.
  • Provide further clarification of the announcement made by Iran with respect to laser enrichment technology.
  • Provide mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Saghand mine in Yazd.
  • Provide mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Ardakan concentration plant.
  • Submit an updated Design Information Questionnaire for the IR-40 reactor (heavy-water reactor at Arak).
  • Take steps to agree with the IAEA on the conclusion of a Safeguards Approach for the IR-40 reactor.
  • Provide mutually agreed relevant information and arrange for a technical visit to Lashkar Ab’ad Laser Centre.
  • Provide information on source material that has not reached the composition and purity suitable for fuel fabrication or for being isotopically enriched, including imports of such material and on Iran’s extraction of uranium from phosphates.
  • Provide information and explanations for the IAEA to assess Iran’s stated need or application for the development of exploding bridge wire detonators.
  • Provide mutually agreed information and arrange a technical visit to a centrifuge research and development center.
  • Provide mutually agreed information and managed access to centrifuge assembly workshops, centrifuge rotor production workshops, and storage facilities.
  • Conclude the safeguards approach for the IR-40 reactor.

As of July 14, 2015, these were the unresolved Issues from the IAEA-Iran framework of November 2013:

  • Exchange information with the IAEA with respect to the allegations related to the initiation of high explosives, including the conduct of large-scale high-explosives experimentation in Iran.
  • Provide mutually agreed relevant information and explanations related to studies made and papers published in Iran in relation to neutron transport and associated modeling and calculations and their alleged application to compressed materials.

As part of a July 14 IAEA-Iran “roadmap” agreement developed in conjunction with JCPOA, Iran agreed to provide the IAEA with information on all areas of concern by August 15, 2015. 

The agency will have until September 15 to ask any additional follow-up questions. Iran will then have until October 15 to provide the additional answers. The IAEA will then issue an assessment of the material by December 15. Iran must provide all of the information required by the IAEA before the JPCOA can be implemented. This ensures that Iran will not receive any sanctions relief until the IAEA receives the information it needs to resolve the outstanding PMD concerns. 

The following is the text of the July 14 IAEA-Iran agreement:

Joint Statement by the IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and the Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and the Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi agreed on 14 July 2015 the following “roadmap” for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran) agree, in continuation of their cooperation under the Framework for Cooperation, to accelerate and strengthen their cooperation and dialogue aimed at the resolution, by the end of 2015, of all past and present outstanding issues that have not already been resolved by the IAEA and Iran.

In this context, Iran and the Agency agreed on the following:

1. The IAEA and Iran agreed on a separate arrangement that would allow them to address the remaining outstanding issues, as set out in the annex of the 2011 Director’s General report (GOV/2011/65). Activities undertaken and the outcomes achieved to date by Iran and the IAEA regarding some of the issues will be reflected in the process.

2. Iran will provide, by 15 August 2015, its explanations in writing and related documents to the IAEA, on issues contained in the separate arrangement mentioned in paragraph 1.

3. After receiving Iran’s written explanations and related documents, the IAEA will review this information by 15 September 2015, and will submit to Iran questions on any possible ambiguities regarding such information.

4. After the IAEA has submitted to Iran questions on any possible ambiguities regarding such information, technical-expert meetings, technical measures, as agreed in a separate arrangement, and discussions will be organized in Tehran to remove such ambiguities.

5. Iran and the IAEA agreed on another separate arrangement regarding the issue of Parchin.

6. All activities, as set out above, will be completed by 15 October 2015, aimed at resolving all past and present outstanding issues, as set out in the annex of the 2011 Director General’s report (GOV/2011/65).

7. The Director General will provide regular updates to the Board of Governors on the implementation of this “roadmap.”

8. By 15 December 2015, the Director General will provide, for action by the Board of Governors, the final assessment on the resolution of all past and present outstanding issues, as set out in the annex of the 2011 Director General’s report (GOV/2011/65). A wrap up technical meeting between Iran and the Agency will be organized before the issuance of the report.

9. Iran stated that it will present, in writing, its comprehensive assessment to the IAEA on the report by the Director General.

10. In accordance with the Framework for Cooperation, the Agency will continue to take into account Iran’s security concerns.


20. IAEA Board of Governors, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and Relevant Provisions of Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” GOV/2011/65, November 8, 2011 (hereinafter IAEA 2011 Iran report). 

21.  Ibid. 

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Posted: December 31, 1969

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