A Look Back At The Details Of The Iran Nuclear Deal

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A Look Back At The Details Of The Iran Nuclear Deal
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action limits what type of nuclear facilities and products Iran was allowed to have, but it's starting to fall apart.
SHOW TRANSCRIPT

You've been hearing a lot about the Iran Nuclear Deal – that Iran has stopped complying with parts of the deal and is threatening to ramp up its nuclear activity even more. So how did we get here?

In July 2015, the U.S., U.K., France, China, Russia, Germany and Iran finalized the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The deal limits what type of nuclear facilities and products Iran was allowed to have, and it put the International Atomic Energy Agency in charge of verifying Iran's compliance. 

The JCPOA required Iran to convert it's Arak heavy-water reactor into one for medical or industrial purposes. That change ensures the reactor isn't capable of producing weapons grade plutonium. 

The deal also required Iran to significantly reduce the number of centrifuges it had and to ship all the spent fuel from its nuclear reactors out of the country. It allowed Iran to keep a maximum of 300 kg of low-enriched uranium, and it limited the nuclear related research and development the country could pursue.

Iran met those requirements in January, 2016. The IAEA's latest quarterly report in May said the country was still abiding by the terms of the deal.  

All of this was done in exchange for sanctions relief from the European Union, United Nations and the U.S. Had things gone according to plan, the remaining sanctions would have been lifted by 2023. 

But President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal May 8, 2018, and within the next six months, the U.S. had reinstated all its sanctions on Iran.

Other nations still signed on to the deal have been trying to salvage it. Germany is almost done developing a new payment system to help Iran skirt those U.S. sanctions, which have heavily impacted Iran's economy. 

Those efforts hinge on Iran's continued compliance, and the future of that is shaky. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has repeatedly said he will restart his country's nuclear program if other nation's don't step up enough to keep the deal alive.