Iran has complied with the terms of an international agreement to curb its nuclear development program, allowing it to move a step that automatically lifting nuclear-related economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations, European Union and United States. The actions signaled what diplomats have called Implementation Day, the most important phase so far of the historic nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that Iran reached with the major world powers.
– This is a good day, because, once again, we’re seeing what’s possible with strong American diplomacy, White House Statement by President Obama. Several Americans, unjustly detained by Iran, are finally coming home, said the President.
There were many sceptics who said Iran would never deliver on its side of the bargain, but the independent International Atomic Energy Agency has said they have. Since Adoption Day in October, Iran has shipped 25,000 pounds of enriched uranium out of the country and has removed and placed in monitored storage two-thirds of its centrifuges and associated infrastructure. Dismantling 12,000 centrifuges used to enrich uranium.Reducing its low-enriched uranium stockpile by 98 percent, leaving only about 660 pounds, an amount insufficient for weaponizing.
The core of Iran’s Arak Heavy Water Research Reactor was removed and filled with concrete, eliminating Iran’s potential source of weapons-grade plutonium. And to block possible covert pathways, Iran has allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) unprecedented access to its nuclear facilities and supply chain. Before the deal, Iran was steadily increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium — enough for up to 10 nuclear bombs.
Implementation Day is a milestone in the effort to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful in nature by blocking potential pathways to a bomb. As a result of years of negotiations and months of preparations for the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran’s breakout time has increased from just two to three months before the agreement to at least one year.
The nuclear deal with Iran, in which Britain played a major role, makes the Middle East and the wider world a safer place. The future is as important as the landmark reached today. Based on hard science and analysis, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action enhances our global security and provides verification to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.
In addition, the United States will vigorously press sanctions against Iranian activities outside of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – including those related to Iran’s support for terrorism, regional destabilization, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile program. Iran’s ballistic missile program poses a significant threat to regional and global security, and it will continue to be subject to international sanctions.