Monday, January 13, 2014

Another step in the Iranian nuclear enrichment reduction agreement takes effect Jan. 20

There are reports from many quarters that a "pause button" (Kerry's words) has been agreed upon between the Group of 5+1 and Iran to start the process of reducing Iran's nuclear fission capacity and reducing some of the sanctions on Iran. The agreement requires the IAEA to monitor Iran's progress toward their public commitments, and some 59 U.S. Senators have signed a petition calling for increased sanctions, which if it were to be passed as a bill, the president has indicated he would veto.
In the more fine print, of the deal the New York Times reports the following yesterday:
Under the interim deal, Iran agreed to stop enriching uranium beyond 5 percent, a level that is sufficient for energy production but not for a bomb. The country’s stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent, a step toward weapons-grade fuel, will be diluted or converted to oxide so that it cannot be readily prepared for military purposes.
Iran also agreed not to install any new centrifuges, start up any that were not already operating, or build new enrichment facilities. The agreement does not, however, require Iran to stop enriching uranium to a low level of 3.5 percent, or to dismantle any existing centrifuges.
American officials said they would stop the promised sanctions relief — worth between $6 billion and $7 billion, according to the White House — if Iran did not fulfill the terms of the interim accord. (Negotiators Put Final Touches on Iran Accord,

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