Clar­i­fi­ca­tions to Iran deal grant some breath­ing room on ura­nium stock

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

VI­ENNA:

Iran and the ma­jor pow­ers with which it reached a land­mark nu­clear ac­cord in 2015 have agreed on clar­i­fi­ca­tions that diplo­mats say will re­duce the amount of en­riched ura­nium that counts to­wards a limit set by the deal. The UN nu­clear watch­dog cir­cu­lated the clar­i­fi­ca­tions, laid out in eight doc­u­ments, to its mem­ber states yesterday af­ter re­ceiv­ing them from the of­fice of Euro­pean Union for­eign pol­icy chief Fed­er­ica Mogherini, who co­or­di­nates the main fo­rum for dis­cus­sions cre­ated by the deal, the Joint Com­mis­sion.

“These doc­u­ments are merely pro­vid­ing clar­i­fi­ca­tions, de­vel­oped by the Joint Com­mis­sion, for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Iran’s nu­clear-re­lated mea­sures as set out in the JCPOA,” Mogherini’s of­fice said in an at­tached let­ter, us­ing the deal’s full name, the Joint Com­pre­hen­sive Plan of Ac­tion. The In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency (IAEA) is polic­ing the deal’s re­stric­tions on Ira­nian atomic ac­tiv­i­ties to help en­sure they are not put to de­vel­op­ing a nu­clear weapon. The ac­cord also lifted sanc­tions against the Is­lamic Re­pub­lic.

The IAEA has al­ready ex­pressed con­cern to Iran about its re­peated test­ing of one of the deal’s less strictly de­fined lim­its - its stock of heavy wa­ter, a sub­stance used as a mod­er­a­tor in re­ac­tors like Iran’s un­fin­ished one at Arak, which has had its core re­moved to make it un­us­able. Diplo­mats have said Iran has come close to ex­ceed­ing other lim­its un­der the deal, par­tic­u­larly the 300 kg (661 pound) cap on its stock of en­riched ura­nium, a breach of which would most likely be far more dam­ag­ing than ex­cess heavy wa­ter.

There was con­cern dur­ing a visit to Iran this week by IAEA chief Yukiya Amano that Iran was about to go over that thresh­old, diplo­mats said. There is also great un­cer­tainty about how US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump, a vo­cal critic of the deal, will han­dle any fu­ture dif­fi­cul­ties that arise with Iran. —Reuters

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