Iran Daily, July 9: “General Draft of Nuclear Agreement Written” But Differences Remain


LATEST: Supreme Leader’s Office Uses Gaza Crisis to Highlight “Resistance”

Iran and the 5+1 Powers enter the eighth day of nuclear talks in Vienna amid reports that a general draft for a comprehensive agreement has been written, but that significant differences remain on the provisions.

An Iranian website devoted to the nuclear issue, claiming an inside source, wrote on Tuesday that the negotiators are “currently finalizing the subject matter of the agreement line by line”. The source said Iran and the 5+1 differed over clauses on Tehran’s centrifuges for uranium enrichment, the status of the Fordow enrichment plant and Arak heavy-water reactor, and the procedure for lifting of sanctions.

The website,, cautioned, “Even the negotiators themselves don’t know what will happen in the last moments before the deadline” of July 20, when an interim agreement expires.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif maintained a firm public line:

We do not accept to reach a solution at all costs as we insist on our rights while trying to find an acceptable, logical and long-term solution.

I hope that the other side will be ready to see the realities, take our word seriously and accept that the Iranian nation has never withdrawn under pressure.

If they come to this conclusion, which we hope to happen in the coming days, reaching a solution will be possible.

Zarif thanked the Supreme Leader for his high-profile endorsement in a speech to top officials on Monday:

We are always appreciative of support from the Supreme Leader. The Supreme Leader illustrated yesterday in specific detail the importance, and need of our nuclear program, as well as our long-term plans.

Supreme Leader’s Office Uses Gaza Crisis to Highlight “Resistance”

The Supreme Leader’s office is using the escalating Gaza crisis to highlight the Islamic Republic’s support of “resistance” and to denounce Israeli “terrorism”:

See Israel & Gaza Special: Beginner’s Guide to a Possible War

The deputy head of armed forces, General Masoud Jazayeri, added that Palestinians are close to renewing their uprising: “The course of events in the Occupied Territories shows…that Palestine is on the verge of a third Intifada and tough revenge against the Zionist regime.”

What Did Supreme Leader Really Say About Key Issue of Nuclear Centrifuges?

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, claimed on Tuesday that Western media has distorted a key statement by the Supreme Leader on the nuclear negotiations.

On Monday, Ayatollah Khamenei spoke about the dispute over the number of centrifuges for uranium enrichment that Iran can maintain under an agreement with the 5+1 Powers.

Initial reports had Khamenei saying that Iran needs 190,000 centrifuges, a nine-fold increase on its current stock of 19,000.

The US and European powers are insisting that Iran must not only refrain from expansion, but must reduce the number of units.

Salehi said that the Supreme Leader actually spoke of “190,000 work units”, which can be provided with far fewer centrifuges — provided Iran is allowed to use advanced models:

We don’t define enrichment on the basis of the centrifuge machines, but on the basis of its unit, that is SWU….

If we want to reach the above-mentioned 190,000 SWUs with the help of these (current IR-1) machines, then we would need more numbers.

If we use the (the advanced) IR-4 centrifuge machines which yield 24 SWUs, then we would need less than 10,000 centrifuge machines.

(Iran Wire backs up Salehi’s claim about the mis-translation by Western media. It gives this version of Khamenei’s speech:

They want us to be content with 10,000 SWUs (separative work units), but they have started from 500 and 1000 SWUs (in the negotiations). Our people say that we need 190,000 SWUs.


Iran introduced IR-2m centrifuges — a level between the IR-1 and yet-to-be-developed IR-4 — into its Natanz enrichment plant at the start of 2013 but did not put them into operation, amid the talks with the 5+1 Powers.

See Iran Special: Why a Nuclear Deal May Not Happen — 5 Points & 1 Word (“Centrifuges”)

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  1. How can the draft be written when there is no agreement on the main issues? Also, the West would never accept Iran using advanced centrifuges like the IR-2 or IR-4 so the point about SWUs is irrelevant.

  2. Can you explain in more detail what the difference between a centrifuge and a ‘working unit’ are?

    Also, Khamenei did not say that Iran needs 190,000 centrifuges/working units immediately; he said that Iran’s requirements will grow to 190,000 whatevers in the next three to five years. To me it appears that Khamenei is looking for flexibility in terms of the future road map, and not necessarily any immediate demands being made by the negotiating parties.

    • Pak,

      A centrifuge is the vessel for enrichment. A “working unit” is “the amount of separation done by an enrichment process”, i.e., the output of a centrifuge.

      Older models such as the IR-1 are not as effective in separation as newer models, thus they produce fewer SWUs per centrifuge. Salehi is saying that than IR-6 model would produce about 20x the SWU of that produced by an IR-1.


        • Pak,

          Thanks for the question. I think the media, with its focus on number of centrifuges, may be missing that negotiations are turning upon the “advanced” models and SWUs — the Supreme Leader and Salehi have effectively broken the secrecy of the talks to point to this.


          • What you seem to miss is that the Americans would never allow Iran to operate the advanced IR-2 let alone the even more advanced IR-4 or IR-6 models, nor indeed the SILEX laser separation technique. So the whole subject of SWUs is meaningless.

    • Nothing is easier than that. Individual centrifuges are connected to units of work.
      Furthermore, type and the efficiency of individual centrifuges are depending how much centrifuge can be connected to a working unit.
      I always thought you’re a specialist?
      For what exactly?

        • Oh, you do not even bother – if there are less nuclear physicist it`s much more healthy for everyone.
          Perhaps the iranian nuclear specialists should just retrain — don`t you think that would be better, too?

  3. The Separative Work Units is the most important question. It does not matter whether old or new centrifuges – who cares. The decisive factor is how high the material is enriched.

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