Saturday, November 23, 2013

  • Saturday, November 23, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From CNN:
A historic deal was struck early Sunday between Iran and six world powers over Tehran's nuclear program, a first step in ending a decades-long standoff over the country's nuclear intentions.

The agreement was expected to be signed within hours, capping days of marathon talks in which diplomats worked to overcome issues surrounding the wording of an initial agreement that reportedly would temporarily freeze Iran's nuclear development program and lift some sanctions while a more formal deal is worked out.

According to a senior U.S. administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, the deal halts Tehran's nuclear program, including halting the development at the Arak reactor and requiring all of the uranium enriched to 20 percent -- close to weapons-grade -- to be diluted so it cannot be converted for military purposes.

But there were conflicting reports about whether Iran's right to enrich uranium had been recognized.

The senior administration official said the deal does not recognize the right, while Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi -- on a Twitter feed commonly attributed to him by Iranian media -- said that "our enrichment program was recognized."

"Congratulation to my nation which stood tall and resisted for the last 10 years," Araghchi said in the post.
Iranian media imply that they made practically no concessions:
The interim deal allows for Iran to continue its activities in its nuclear sites in the cities of Arak, Fordo, and Natanz.

According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, the agreement also stipulates that no additional sanctions will be imposed on Iran because of its nuclear energy program.

Iran will also receive access to USD 4.2 billion in foreign exchange as part of the nuclear deal.

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Deputy Foreign Minister Seyyed Abbas Araqchi, said the agreement recognizes the country's "enrichment program."

Araqchi had earlier emphasized that Tehran could not accept any deal that did not recognize Iran's enrichment right.

Farsi media are saying that some specific sanctions on oil, gold and other precious metals are being eased.

Early indications make this sound like a joke. The problem with reducing sanctions is that they are not easily reversible, while Iran's promise to only enrich to 3.5% is easily reversible.

The key is enrichment (plus the Arak reactor, which could be used to make plutonium.) And from the initial reports, the West received very little in the way of concessions.

As expected, it appears that the language is vague enough that Iran can claim that they have a "right" to enrich uranium, while the US can claim there is no such right - all the while allowing Iran to build more centrifuges.

It looks like Iran won because the West does not have the backbone to stick to its principles.

UPDATE: Here's the US version from a factsheet released by the White House:

Iran has committed to halt enrichment above 5%:

· Halt all enrichment above 5% and dismantle the technical connections required to enrich above 5%.

Iran has committed to neutralize its stockpile of near-20% uranium:

· Dilute below 5% or convert to a form not suitable for further enrichment its entire stockpile of near-20% enriched uranium before the end of the initial phase.

Iran has committed to halt progress on its enrichment capacity:

· Not install additional centrifuges of any type.

· Not install or use any next-generation centrifuges to enrich uranium.

· Leave inoperable roughly half of installed centrifuges at Natanz and three-quarters of installed centrifuges at Fordow, so they cannot be used to enrich uranium.

· Limit its centrifuge production to those needed to replace damaged machines, so Iran cannot use the six months to stockpile centrifuges.

· Not construct additional enrichment facilities.

Iran has committed to halt progress on the growth of its 3.5% stockpile:
 · Not increase its stockpile of 3.5% low enriched uranium, so that the amount is not greater at the end of the six months than it is at the beginning, and any newly enriched 3.5% enriched uranium is converted into oxide.

Iran has committed to no further advances of its activities at Arak and to halt progress on its plutonium track.
Iran has committed to:

· Not commission the Arak reactor.
 · Not fuel the Arak reactor.
 · Halt the production of fuel for the Arak reactor.
 · No additional testing of fuel for the Arak reactor.
 · Not install any additional reactor components at Arak.
 · Not transfer fuel and heavy water to the reactor site.
 · Not construct a facility capable of reprocessing.  Without reprocessing, Iran cannot separate plutonium from spent fuel.

Unprecedented transparency and intrusive monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program

Iran has committed to:
Provide daily access by IAEA inspectors at Natanz and Fordow.  This daily access will permit inspectors to review surveillance camera footage to ensure comprehensive monitoring.  This access will provide even greater transparency into enrichment at these sites and shorten detection time for any non-compliance.

· Provide IAEA access to centrifuge assembly facilities.

· Provide IAEA access to centrifuge rotor component production and storage facilities.

· Provide IAEA access to uranium mines and mills.

· Provide long-sought design information for the Arak reactor.  This will provide critical insight into the reactor that has not previously been available.

· Provide more frequent inspector access to the Arak reactor.

· Provide certain key data and information called for in the Additional Protocol to Iran’s IAEA Safeguards Agreement and Modified Code 3.1.
As far as the easing of sanctions, this is the US spin:

[Iran agrees to] Not impose new nuclear-related sanctions for six months, if Iran abides by its commitments under this deal, to the extent permissible within their political systems.

· Suspend certain sanctions on gold and precious metals, Iran’s auto sector, and Iran’s petrochemical exports, potentially providing Iran approximately $1.5 billion in revenue.

· License safety-related repairs and inspections inside Iran for certain Iranian airlines.

· Allow purchases of Iranian oil to remain at their currently significantly reduced levels – levels that are 60% less than two years ago.  $4.2 billion from these sales will be allowed to be transferred in installments if, and as, Iran fulfills its commitments.

· Allow $400 million in governmental tuition assistance to be transferred from restricted Iranian funds directly to recognized educational institutions in third countries to defray the tuition costs of Iranian students.
...Over the next six months, we will determine whether there is a solution that gives us sufficient confidence that the Iranian program is peaceful.  If Iran cannot address our concerns, we are prepared to increase sanctions and pressure.


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