U.S. President Donald Trump has said he’s made a decision on the Iran nuclear deal and will announce his choice Tuesday from Washington. If the U.S. decides to withdraw, it could put the entire deal in jeopardy. Iran has said it’s already preparing if Washington pulls out.
CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports.
Formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal came together in 2015 after nearly two years of negotiations. The U.S., China, the U.K., France, Germany and Russia all agreed to reduce sanctions in exchange for Iran reducing its ability to create nuclear weapons.
As part of the deal, Iran would take steps to extend the time required to build a nuclear weapon. That meant agreeing to greatly reduce its uranium stockpiles, limit future uranium enrichment levels, and dismantle most of the centrifuges needed to enrich uranium. In exchange, the international community would gradually lift sanctions and release frozen Iranian assets.
Some provisions of the deal last 10 years, while others 15 or 25 years. But other provisions are permanent, such as Iran’s commitment not to develop nuclear weapons. International inspectors have access to Iranian nuclear facilities to verify compliance.
So far, the U.N. certifies whether Iran has complied with its end of the bargain. But U.S. President Donald Trump, backed by Israel, has said that’s not good enough. He argued the deal expires too quickly, and doesn’t address Iran’s non-nuclear missile program or its role in regional conflicts.
President Trump has said the deal must be altered or the U.S. will pull out, but Iran has said it will not alter the agreement.
All countries in the deal except the U.S. support the existing agreement, as does the United Nations.