Iran Document & Analysis: The Iranian Version of the Nuclear Framework — Does It Show a Rift with the US?

Amid chatter that the US and Iranian sides have fundamentally different views of last Thursday’s “parameters” for a comprehensive nuclear agreement, Harvard’s Belfer Center has published a translation of the Iranian fact sheet on the framework (see below).

The US fact sheet circulated soon after the announcement of the parameters on Thursday night.

See Iran Daily: Zarif Appeals to Iranians — “Please Give Us 3 Months to Negotiate Nuclear Deal”
Iran Feature: Key Points of the Nuclear Framework

Comparing the two versions — along with more details about the negotiations, including a Saturday article in the New York Times — extends our analysis of the progress in the nuclear talks, and the task before the June 30 deadline for a comprehensive agreement between Iran and the 5+1 Powers.

It was undoubtedly agreed on Thursday between the American and Iranian delegations that each side would put out its summary of the framework. The American English-language version got far more attention in international media than the Iranian version, which was only disseminated in Farsi.

There is one point of substantive difference in the two texts — the US has a 15-year limit on enrichment to 3.67%; the Iranians have 10. Otherwise, the differences are what the Iranians do not choose to mention, but do not contradict.

1. The Iranians say sanctions will be lifted “after the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action”. The US defines this as IAEA verification of Iranian compliance.

2. The Iranians say they will continue R&D of advanced centrifuges. They do not mention that IR-2s will be put in storage, and that the R&D is for activities not connected with centrifuges (although this is implied in the Iranian section on Fordoo).

3. The Iranians refer to “predetermined mechanisms of response” if either side violates an agreement. The US defines this as “snap-back” re-imposition of sanctions if Iran is found to be in non-compliance.

In addition, Iran uses the word “temporary” for its adherence to the Additional Protocol of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Putting the two versions together, there are points which are still to be defined in the talks over the implementation of the agreement, but the “parameters” — the official term used by the two sides — have indeed been set. The chatter by both US and Iranian critics that these are fundamental differences is more of an attempt to unsettle the discussions, rather than “proof” of a breakdown in the process.


THE IRANIAN FACT SHEET

*Bolded text is from original document*

What solutions did Iran and the P5+1 reach?

Arak heavy-water reactor remains; conversion of Fordow to an advanced nuclear and physics research center; all of the sanctions will be immediately removed after reaching a comprehensive agreement

According to the reached solutions, after the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action, all of the UN resolutions will be revoked and all of the multilateral economic and financial sanctions by the EU and the unilateral ones by the US will be annulled.

According to the reports from Farsnews correspondent in Lausanne, Iran and 6 countries reached a package of solutions for a Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action after 9 days of negotiations.

The Islamic Republic of Iran and the countries in the P5+1, including China, Russia, France, the United States, England, and Germany, in the city of Lausanne, Switzerland, reached a package of solutions necessary to attain a Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action according to the framework of the elements contained within the 24 November 2013 Joint Plan of Action and following a long process of complex and extensive negotiations with technical, legal, and political dimensions. The package containing these solutions does not have legal binding and will only provide a conceptual guide for calibrating and assessing a Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action. On these grounds, the drafting of a Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action based on these solutions will begin in the near future.

The Continuation of the Nuclear Program including Enrichment

According to the framework of existing solutions, none of the nuclear facilities or related activities will be stopped, shut down, or suspended, and Iran’s nuclear activities in all of its facilities including Natanz, Fordow, Isfahan, and Arak will continue.

These comprehensive solutions will guarantee the continuation of the enrichment program inside the country, and, based on this, the Islamic Republic of Iran will have the ability to continue its industrial production of nuclear fuel for providing the fuel for its nuclear reactors in accordance with the Comprehensive Plan for Joint Action.

According to the reached solutions, the timeframe of the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action regarding Iran’s enrichment program will be 10 years. During this period, more than 5,000 centrifuge machines will continue producing enriched material at the 3.67 percent level at Natanz. Additional machines to this number and related infrastructure will be used to replace machines that have been damages during this time and will be collected and stored under the supervision of the IAEA. Also, Iran will be able to use the existing enriched stockpile for producing a nuclear fuel center and/or its export to international markets in exchange for uranium.

According to the reached solutions, Iran will continue its research and development on advanced machines and will continue the initiation and completion phases of the research and development process of IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, and IR-8 centrifuges during the 10 year period of the Comprehensive Plan for Joint Action.

Fordow Facilities

According to the reached solutions, the Fordow nuclear facilities will be converted to an advanced nuclear and physics research center. More than 1,000 centrifuge machines and all related infrastructure in Fordow will be preserved and maintained, out of which two centrifuge cascades will be in operation. In addition, in cooperation with some of the countries of the P5+1, half of the Fordow facilities will be dedicated to advanced nuclear research and the production of stable isotopes that have important applications in industry, agriculture, and medicine.

Arak Heavy Water Research Reactor

In accordance with the existing solutions, the Arak heavy water research reactor will remain and will be enhanced and updated with re-modifications. In the redesigning of the reactor, in addition to decreasing the amount of plutonium production, the efficiency of the Arak reactor will be increased significantly. The re-modification of the Arak reactor will be undertaken in a designated timeframe and will be initiated in the form of a joint international project under the management of Iran, after which the construction will begin immediately in the framework of a comprehensive timeframe. The production of fuel for the Arak reactor and the granting of an international nuclear fuel license are among the issues that will be undertaken with international cooperation. On the other hand, the factory for the production of heavy water will continue to function as it has in the past.

Additional Protocol

Iran will implement the Additional Protocol on a voluntary and temporary basis for the sake of transparency and confidence building, and, in continuation, the approval process of the Protocol will be ratified within a specified timeframe under the mandate of the President and the Islamic Consultative Assembly.

Removal of Sanctions

According to the reached solutions, after the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action, all of the UN Security Council resolutions will be revoked, and all of the multilateral economic and financial sanctions of the EU and the unilateral ones of the US including financial, banking, insurance, investment, and all related services, including oil, gas, petrochemicals, and automobile industries will be immediately revoked. In addition, nuclear-related sanctions against real and legal individuals, entities, and public and private institutions, including the Central Bank, other financial and banking institutions, SWIFT, shipping and aviation industries of the Islamic Republic of Iran, oil tanker companies, will be immediately removed. Also, the P5+1 member countries are committed to restraining from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions.

International Cooperation

International nuclear cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran, including with members of the P5+1, will be possible and enhanced in the fields of constructing nuclear power plants, research reactors, nuclear fusion, stable isotopes, nuclear safety, nuclear medicine and agriculture, etc… According to the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action, Iran will also be provided access to the global market and the international trade, finance, technical knowledge and energy sectors.

Schedule for implementing Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action

At the end of this stage of negotiations, the drafting of the Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action will begin in the near future until the timeframe of 10 Tir (July 1). With the finalization of the text, the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action will be adopted as a resolution by the UN Security Council. For the Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action to be binding and executable for all UN member states, this resolution will be approved under Article 41 of Chapter Seven of the UN Charter like the previous resolutions against Iran so that these previous resolutions can be annulled.

The parties to the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action will need a timeframe for preparatory work for the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action once the resolution is approved by the Security Council. After the preparatory phase, and at the same time as the start of Iran’s nuclear-related implementation work, all of the sanctions will be automatically annulled on a single specified day.

In the framework of the reached solutions, violations from the mutually agreed accords contained in the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action by any one country will have predetermined mechanisms of response.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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