Iran has set a 60-day deadline for world powers to renegotiate the phrases of its 2015 nuclear deal, a yr to the day after President Donald Trump pulled America from the landmark accord.
President Hassan Rouhani says Iran will cease exporting its extra uranium and heavy water from its nuclear program, as stipulated by the settlement. If the 60-day deadline passes with out motion, Rouhani says Iran will resume increased uranium enrichment as nicely.
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Right here’s the place Iran’s nuclear program and the unravelling accord now stand.
The nuclear deal
Iran struck the nuclear deal in 2015 with the USA, the European Union, France, Germany, the UK, Russia and China. The deal, formally generally known as the Joint Complete Plan of Motion, grew out of secret talks President Barack Obama’s administration held with Iran after Rouhani, a relative average, took workplace.
Iran agreed to restrict its enrichment of uranium underneath the watch of U.N. inspectors in alternate for the lifting of financial sanctions. Worldwide companies rushed to do offers with Iran, most notably the billion-dollar gross sales by Airbus and Boeing Co.
Trump, who campaigned for the White Home on a promise of tearing up the deal because it didn’t deal with Iran’s ballistic missile program or its involvement in regional conflicts, withdrew America from the accord on Could eight, 2018. That halted the promised worldwide enterprise offers and dealt a heavy blow to Iran’s already anemic financial system. Within the time since, the Trump administration has stated any nation that imports Iranian crude oil will face U.S. sanctions.
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Iran’s nuclear amenities
Natanz, in Iran’s central Isfahan province, hosts the nation’s major uranium enrichment facility, which is positioned underground. Iran has one working nuclear energy plant in Bushehr, which it opened with the assistance of Russia in 2011. Underneath the accord, Iran reconfigured a heavy-water reactor so it couldn’t produce plutonium and agreed to transform its Fordo enrichment web site — dug deep right into a mountainside — right into a analysis heart. It additionally operates an over 50-year-old analysis reactor in Tehran.
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Iran’s uranium stockpile
Underneath phrases of the nuclear deal, Iran can maintain a stockpile of not more than 300 kilograms (660 kilos) of low-enriched uranium. That’s in comparison with the 10,000 kilograms (22,046 kilos) of higher-enriched uranium it as soon as had. At the moment, the accord limits Iran to enriching uranium to three.67%, which may gasoline a business nuclear energy plant. Weapons-grade uranium must be enriched to round 90%. Nonetheless, as soon as a rustic enriches uranium to round 20%, scientists say the time wanted to achieve 90% is halved. Iran has beforehand enriched to 20%.
READ MORE: Iran threatens to renew increased uranium enrichment if nuclear deal fails
A centrifuge is a tool that enriches uranium by quickly spinning uranium hexafluoride gasoline. Underneath the atomic accord, Iran has been restricted to working 5,zero60 older-model IR-1 centrifuges. The IR-1 is predicated on a 1970s Dutch design that Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan used to construct Islamabad’s nuclear weapons program and later bought to Iran, Libya and North Korea.
Iran has the technical capacity to construct and function superior variations referred to as the IR-2M, IR-Four and IR-6 at a facility in Natanz, however is barred from doing so underneath the nuclear deal. Ali Akbar Salehi, the top of Iran’s nuclear program, instructed The Related Press in September that the IR-2M and the IR-Four can enrich uranium 5 occasions quicker than an IR-1, whereas the IR-6 can do it 10 occasions quicker. Western specialists have steered these centrifuges produce three to 5 occasions extra enriched uranium in a yr than the IR-1s.
Iran additionally mothballed many already-built centrifuges as a part of the deal.
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From ‘atoms for peace’ to Stuxnet
Iran’s nuclear program really started with the assistance of the USA. Underneath its “Atoms for Peace” program, America provided a check reactor that got here on-line in Tehran in 1967 underneath the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. That assist ended as soon as Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew the shah.
Within the 1990s, Iran expanded its program, together with shopping for tools from A.Q. Khan. Amongst its actions, Iran “might have acquired design data” for a bomb and researched explosive detonators, in keeping with the Worldwide Atomic Vitality Company.
By August 2002, Western intelligence providers and an Iranian opposition group revealed a covert nuclear web site at Natanz. Iran to at the present time denies its nuclear program had a navy dimension. Iran suspended enrichment in 2003 however resumed it three years later underneath hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. World powers imposed crippling U.N. sanctions in response. The Stuxnet laptop virus, broadly believed to be a joint U.S.-Israeli creation, quickly disrupted 1000’s of Iranian centrifuges.
A string of bombings, blamed on Israel, focused plenty of scientists starting in 2010 on the top of Western considerations over Iran’s program. Israel by no means claimed duty for the assaults, although Israeli officers have boasted up to now in regards to the attain of the nation’s intelligence providers. Israel final yr stated it seized information from a “secret atomic archive” in Iran.