The signing of the November 24, 2013 nuclear agreement in Geneva between the P5+1 and the Iranian regime is an important milestone. Analysts have been busy assessing the deal considered by some as historic, and by others as an interim step.
Iran News Update (INU) was able to meet up with the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) to get there take on the recent developments. Below is a recap of the details and assessment of the deal and tomorrow INU will share NCRI’s thoughts and future steps.
Nuclear Agreement Background
Both sides, the Iranian regime and Western countries, are interpreting this deal their own way to claim victory to confront their respective internal oppositions. President Obama is looking to silence a congress that is adamantly against the deal and President Rouhani is looking to calm those that consider this a deal with the enemy and against the regime’s interests.
Taking a closer look at the agreement, the following are concessions to the Iranian regime:
· The agreement allows the clerical regime to continue with its 5% uranium enrichment
· Fardow nuclear site has not been closed down; just some activities are halted
· Arak heavy-water plant has not been shut down; only some activities are halted
· Snap inspections are not part of the deal
· The agreement does not include inspections of Parchin
· The regime shall keep its stockpile of 5% enriched uranium, around 7 tons
Also according to the agreement, for the next six months the regime has agreed to the following:
· Halt above 5% enrichment and neutralize its 20% enriched stockpile
· Not to install any new centrifuges and leave advanced previous centrifuges inoperable
· Not to increase its stockpile of enriched uranium above 5%
· Stop any advances in Arak and to halt progress on its plutonium track
· Allow daily access to Natanz and Fardow by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors. This access shall allow inspectors to examine security cameras to ensure thorough supervision
· Provide access of IAEA to facilities that produce centrifuges, as well as access to uranium producing mines and mills, plus provide design information of Arak reactor to inspectors
In turn, P5+1 have accepted to:
· Unfreeze around $7 billion of regime’s deposits blocked by banking and financial sanctions
· Suspend sanctions on gold and precious metals, Iran’s auto sector, and export of petrochemicals
Nuclear Agreement Assessment
Overall, P5+1 consented to the minimum concessions from the Iranian regime and its nuclear projects, however if the regime adheres to the terms of this agreement it would be quite a surprise. The concessions in this agreement are a considerable retreat from their previous stance. Fully embracing this agreement would temporarily deprive them of advancing their projects towards the nuclear bomb.
NCRI believes that comprehensive adherence to the terms of the agreement ultimately face three major pitfalls:
· For the past 20-year Iran has an extensive record of deception to circumvent sanctions
· The regime has been known to use secret projects and sites to advance their nuclear aspirations
· The loosening of the regime’s sanctions are due to economic and political interests of the P5+1