Negotiators have reached a framework agreement in the P5+1 nuclear negotiations with Iran in Switzerland that will now set the agenda for further talks to hammer out a comprehensive deal by their June 30 deadline.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif read a joint statement, in English and Farsi respectively, which revealed some of the details of what they called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
According to their statement, the negotiators agreed to restrict Iran’s nuclear enrichment activities to only the nuclear facility in Natanz and limit enrichment levels in a stockpile for “specific durations”; another enrichment facility at Fordow will discontinue all enrichment and be converted into a “nuclear physics and technology center”; and the heavy-water reactor in Arak will be rebuilt and modernized as a joint international project, but will not be allowed to continue producing weapons-grade plutonium.
The statement broadly mentioned that the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) nuclear inspectors would have “announced access through agreed procedures.” What this means is that the effectiveness of the “access” given to IAEA inspectors to ensure that Iran is not secretly heading toward nuclear weapons will depend heavily on exactly what the “agreed upon procedures” will be in the JCPOA.
In return, after the IAEA verifies Iran’s compliance with the agreement, the United States and the European Union will cease applying “all” of their nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions.
The joint statement also omitted any mention of the minimum one-year breakout time limit that the United States was seeking.