Will Iran give up its uranium enrichment?
Highlighting that Iran must not acquire a nuclear weapon, US Secretary of State John Kerry today underlined that the Iran nuclear deal will futher US national security.
In his testimony on the P5+1’s First Step Agreement With Iran on its Nuclear Program before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington DC, Secretary Kerry said the national security of the United States is stronger under the first-step agreement than it was before.
He added that even Israel’s national security is stronger than it was the day before they entered into this agreement.
“And the Gulf and Middle East interests are more secure than they were the day before we entered this agreement.” – Secretary Kerry
What Is In The Iran Nuclear Deal?
According to Secretary Kerry, once implemented, the agreement halts the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and rolls it back in certain places for the first time in nearly ten years.
“It provides unprecedented monitoring and inspections.” – Secretary Kerry
He highlighted that once they can conclude a comprehensive agreement that addresses all concerns, there’s an important fact: Iran’s nuclear program will not move forward.
Will Iran Halt Its Uranium Enrichment?
Secretary Kerry stated that under this agreement, Iran will have to neutralize and end its entire stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium, which is a short step away from weapons-grade uranium.
“Under this agreement, Iran will forfeit all of that 20 percent, that 200 kilogram stockpile. Gone.” – Secretary Kerry
In addition, Iran will also halt the enrichment above 5 percent and it will not be permitted to grow its stockpile of 3.5 percent enriched uranium under the agreement.
He said Iran cannot increase the number of centrifuges in operation, and it will not install or use any next-generation centrifuges to enrich uranium.
Kerry: Iran Will Not Acquire A Nuclear Weapon
Secretary Kerry reiterated in his statement, that Iran will not acquire nuclear weapon. “This imperative is at the top of our national security agenda, and I know it’s at the top of yours as well.” – Secretary Kerry
In April this year, the US expressed determination to stop Iran’s proliferation activities.
With speculation continuing to make headlines that Iran is not disclosing enough information on its nuclear program, the United States of America underlined that it is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and has pursued a dual-track policy to do so.
In her statement on Iran in Washington DC, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Board of Governors overwhelmingly adopted a resolution that clearly reflected the international community’s concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
At that time, the US reiterated that Iran must cooperate fully and immediately with the IAEA on all outstanding issues. Iran did not cooperate fully.
The US government welcomed the resolve of the international community to make clear the onus was on Iran to abide by its international obligations, honor its commitments to the IAEA, and prove that its intentions were peaceful.
Iran under international scrutiny
Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom qualified for an exception to sanctions outlined in Section 1245 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, as amended (NDAA), based on reductions in the volume of their crude oil purchases from Iran.
As of July 1, the European Union implemented a full ban on Iranian crude oil and petroleum products, strengthening the comprehensive measures it had already taken to hold Iran accountable for its failure to comply with its international nuclear obligations.
Japan has also taken significant steps to reduce its crude oil purchases, which is especially notable considering the extraordinary energy challenges it has faced in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster.
In addition, last year, the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog said Iran was not providing the necessary cooperation to enable the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is for peaceful activities, and not driven by military ambitions.
Many Eyes Watching Iran
Iran has tried to conceal its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
IAEA General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, renewed his call on Iran to grant inspectors access to the Parchin nuclear facility site.
At a meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors in Vienna, Mr. Amano highlighted that despite intensified dialogue between the IAEA and Iran since the beginning of the year, no concrete results had been achieved.
Reports say Iran’s nuclear programme has become a matter of international concern since the discovery in 2003 that the country had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Iran has repeatedly stated that its nuclear programme is for the peaceful purpose of providing energy, but many countries believe it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
In March 2012, the head of the Security Council committee monitoring the arms embargo imposed on Iran over its nuclear programme reported new cases of reported violations by Iran.
Ambassador Nestor Osorio of Colombia noted in his quarterly report that four Member States submitted a report regarding a violation of the resolution prohibiting Iran from carrying out activities related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.
A Member State had also provided information on the results of inspections carried out on material confiscated in February last year from a truck on Iran’s border with Syria.
Another Member State had brought to the committee’s attention a public statement by the Secretary-General of Hizbollah, dated 7 February, in which he acknowledged that his group had received “material support in all possible and available forms from Iran.”
In December 2002, satellite photographs shown on U.S. television confirm the existence of sites at Natanz and Arak. The United States then accused Tehran of “across-the-board pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.” Iran agrees to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In February 2003, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami revealed that Iran discovered uranium deposits and announced plans to develop a nuclear fuel cycle.
On 23rd December 2006, the 15-member UN Security Council unanimously adopted a binding resolution that called on Iran to suspend its uranium-enrichment activities and to comply with its IAEA obligations. Resolution 1737 directed all states to prevent the supply or sale to Iran of any materials that could assist its nuclear or ballistic missile programmes. It also imposed an asset freeze on key companies and individuals named by the UN as contributors to Iran’s nuclear and missile programmes.
Resolution 1737 was strengthened by resolution 1747 the following year, which imposed a ban on arms sales to or from Iran, and expanded an existing freeze on assets. It also tightened the sanctions by imposing a ban on arms sales.
The IAEA has been increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed nuclear-related activities involving military-related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile, about which the Agency continues to receive new information.
Iran has produced over 4,500 kilograms of low-enriched uranium, which, according to the Institute for Science and International Security, is almost enough for four nuclear weapons after further enrichment to weapons grade.