July 31, 2014, Washington, D.C. – On July 22, the State Department released a fact sheet summarizing the implementations and extension of the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) between Iran and the P5+1 countries. The fact sheet discusses the halted progress of Iran’s nuclear program, the increased transparency and monitoring of the program, and the state of Iran’s economy since the JPOA was first enacted. In addition, it details what will happen under the extension of the JPOA until November 24, 2014.
The JPOA has seen major nonproliferation achievements over the past six months and has invoked confidence from the U.S. Department of State. “It is our assessment and that of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Iran has carried out the very significant commitments it made, and has taken steps to address the international community’s greatest concerns,” states the fact sheet.
Among such achievements, under the JPOA, Iran has ceased its production of near-20% enriched uranium and has diluted half of its 20% stockpile to lower levels, converting the other half into an oxide form unsuitable for further enrichment. Iran also limited its centrifuge production, refrained from constructing more enrichment facilities, and did not go beyond its enrichment R&D practices that were in place at the beginning of the JPOA.
In addition, the fact sheet notes that the JPOA has achieved increased transparency and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program. Iran’s enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordow have been subject to daily IAEA inspections and the IAEA and Iran have also updated monitoring procedures, allowing IAEA inspectors to review surveillance information daily in order to more quickly detect any non-compliance. “These enhanced monitoring measures enabled the IAEA to provide monthly updates on the status of Iran’s implementation of its commitments and have enabled the international community to have more confidence that it would more quickly detect breakout or the diversion of materials to a secret program.”
In response to possible criticism that this extension could lead to growth of the Iranian economy, the State Department explains that “Iran still faces significant economic challenges and the limited relief provided under the Joint Plan of Action did not come close to ‘fixing’ the Iranian economy.” Most of Iran’s banks remain cut off from the international financial system, a large majority of Iran’s foreign exchange reserves remain inaccessible, and Iran’s economy is approximately 25 percent smaller than it would have been had it remained on its pre-2011 growth path.
“We have the unique opportunity to peacefully achieve our objective of preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon,” notes the State Department on the extension of the JPOA. “That would be good for the security of the United States, our regional allies and partners, and the entire world. These negotiations represent our best chance at a lasting diplomatic solution that addresses our concerns.”
Click here to read the U.S. State Department’s fact sheet on the Joint Plan of Action.