Yesterday, July 23, the U.S. Department of State issued a press release regarding the JPOA’s success in halting Iran’s nuclear program. The results show that Iran has carried out their commitments in the interim agreement and has taken steps to address the international community’s concerns.
Listed below are some of the accomplishments of the JPOA. Iran has done the following:
- Halted the production of near-20% enriched uranium
- Completed the dilution of half of its near-20% enriched uranium stockpile and converted the rest to an oxide form not suitable for enrichment
- Capped its stockpile of 5% enriched uranium
- Hasn’t enriched uranium in half of installed centrifuges at Natanz and ¾ of installed centrifuges at Fordow
- Didn’t go beyond enrichment research and development (R&D) practices in place at the start of JPOA
- Didn’t construct additional enrichment facilities
- Didn’t construct a facility capable of reprocessing to separate plutonium from spent fuel
- Didn’t stockpile centrifuges and limited centrifuge production to those needed to replace damaged machines
- Didn’t build a reconversion line necessary to convert its stockpile of 20% uranium oxide back into a form suitable for further enrichment
- Provided IAEA access at centrifuge assembly workshops, centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities, and uranium mines and mills
- Didn’t commission or fuel the Arak reactor
- Halted the production and testing of fuel for the Arak reactor
- Didn’t install any additional reactor components at Arak
- Didn’t transfer fuel or heavy water to the Arak reactor site
- Provided IAEA design information on Arak reactor
The press release also displayed the impact which the JPOA has had on Iran’s economy. The negative impact it’s had on Iran’s economy serves to pressure Iran to come to an agreement with the international community over concerns regarding their nuclear program.
- Iran’s economy is now around 25% smaller than it would have been had it remained on its pre- 2011 growth path.
- The vast majority of Iran’s approximately $100 billion in foreign exchange holdings remain inaccessible to Iran or restricted by sanctions.
- Iran has lost an estimated $120 billion in oil revenues since the beginning of 2012, and is able to use only a small fraction of the revenue it earns. It will lose $15 billion more to oil sanctions during this four-month extension.
- Iran’s economy contracted nearly 7% in the last Persian year and contracted a further 3.4% through December 2013.
- Iran’s average annual inflation hovered over 30% last year, one of the highest rates in the world.
- Iran’s currency, the rial, has declined by approximately 7% since November 24, 2013, when the JPOA was reached by the P5+1 and Iran.
- Most of Iran’s banks remain cut off from the international financial system.
The JPOA has recently been extended for another 4 months, until November 24th of this year, in order to continue negotiations in an attempt to reach a comprehensive agreement. Although the success of the JPOA provides a sense of optimism for any future permanent agreement with Iran, the international community will still need to ensure that the proper verification mechanisms are in place to monitor Iran’s compliance.
ASP supports the continued efforts to settle the Iranian nuclear crisis through diplomatic means, since this is more desirable for both sides rather than the alternatives. Coupled with public diplomacy efforts, these negotiations could begin to foster better relations between Iran and the international community.
Theresa Shaffer is a nuclear security researcher and intern at the American Security Project. She is a recent graduate of the University of North Texas with degrees in International Studies and French. You can follow her on twitter here: Theresa Shaffer
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