January 19, 2014
Slavin: Iran Nuclear Deal Takes Effect
Five years after President Barack Obama came into office pledging to reach out to Iran, the combination of painstaking back-channel talks and formal negotiations is yielding its first concrete results: Monday saw the Islamic Republic begin implementation of the interim deal signed Nov. 24 in Geneva, capping its uranium enrichment and stockpiles of fissile material that could be used to quickly build a bomb.
International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors confirmed on Monday that Iran has begun fulfilling its agreement with the P5+1 (the U.S., Russia, China, France, the U.K. and Germany) by disconnecting centrifuge cascades that have, for the past three years been used to enrich uranium to 20 percent U-235 — technically far closer to weapons-grade than the 3.5 percent enriched uranium used to fuel electricity-producing reactors. Iran has also begun diluting its existing stockpile of 20-percent uranium and is providing unprecedented access to IAEA inspectors to verify compliance with these and other curbs on the Iranian nuclear program.