VIENNA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The central achievement of the Iran nuclear deal – keeping Tehran at arm’s length from nuclear weapons – is eroding.
The 2015 accord’s many restrictions on Iran’s atomic activities were built around one objective: to extend the “breakout time” Tehran would need to produce enough fissile material for one atomic bomb – if it decided to do so – to at least a year from around 2-3 months.
Iran - Weapons - Purposes - Energy - Research
Iran maintains that it has never sought nuclear weapons and never would. It has long said it has enriched for civilian purposes including future nuclear energy and research projects.
Tehran began breaching the deal’s curbs last year in a step-by-step response to President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the deal in May 2018 and the reimposition of U.S. sanctions that have throttled Iran’s vital oil exports.
Breaches - Breakout - Time - Iran - Reports
Those breaches have shortened the breakout time slightly, though Iran is far from sprinting ahead as fast as it could, reports by the U.N. nuclear watchdog policing the deal show.
But the breaches have been enough to prompt the European signatories to the deal to trigger its dispute resolution mechanism, raising the prospect of the global, United Nations sanctions that were lifted under the deal being reinstated.
WHAT - HAS - IRAN - DONE
WHAT HAS IRAN DONE?
Iran has contravened many of the deal’s core restrictions, but has said it will continue to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency and its inspectors. The deal has imposed on Iran the most intrusive nuclear verification regime of any country, and it has not backed out of that yet.
* - Enriched - Uranium - Deal - Iran
* Enriched uranium – The deal limits Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium to 202.8 kg – less than half the amount it was producing per quarter before its accord with world powers, and a small fraction of the tonnes it possessed. This was the first of Iran’s...
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