The Historic Deal that Will Prevent Iran from Acquiring a Nuclear Weapon

How the U.S. and the international community will block all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon

Iran Deal Watch Live



Read the Iran Deal facts:


  "Will Iran be able to inspect its own nuclear facilities?

No. There is no “self-inspection” of Iranian facilities, and the IAEA has in no way given responsibility for nuclear inspections to Iran. Not now and certainly not in the future.

That is not how the IAEA does business. As IAEA Director General Amano noted, the arrangements between the IAEA and Iran are technically sound and consistent with the Agency’s long-established practice. They do not compromise the IAEA’s safeguards standards in any way. As we have said before—and as we briefed Congress fully in classified settings—the U.S. government’s nuclear experts are confident in the Agency’s technical plans for investigating the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s former program. Iran will not get additional sanctions relief until the IAEA verifies that Iran has completed its nuclear steps, including those related to PMD.

And let’s be clear—this issue is one of past behavior. The United States has already made our judgment about the past. We are focused on moving forward, in which we will rely on the unprecedented robust monitoring, verification, and transparency measures ever negotiated so we will know that any activities that caused us concern have been stopped. Most importantly, we can snap sanctions back into place if Iran blocks inspections from taking place going forward.

Got more questions?

Get the FAQs on the Iran Deal

The Iran Deal blocks the four pathways to a nuclear weapon.

Building a nuclear bomb requires either uranium or plutonium, but thanks to this deal, Iran’s four possible ways to leverage those fissile materials are blocked.

Under the framework for an Iran nuclear deal Iran's uranium enrichment pathway to a weapon will be shut down
Let's look into Uranium:
Iran would need two key elements to construct a uranium bomb: enough highly enriched uranium to produce enough material to construct a uranium bomb and tens of thousands of centrifuges.
Currently, Iran has a uranium stockpile to create 8 to ten nuclear bombs. But thanks to this nuclear deal, Iran must reduce its stockpile of uranium by 98%, and will keep its level of uranium enrichment at 3.67% — significantly below the enrichment level needed to create a bomb.
Iran also needs tens of thousands of centrifuges to create highly enriched uranium for a bomb. Right now, Iran has nearly 20,000 centrifuges between their Natanz and Fordow uranium enrichment facilities. But under this deal, Iran must reduce its centrifuges to 6,104 for the next ten years. No enrichment will be allowed at the Fordow facility at all, and the only centrifuges Iran will be allowed to use are their oldest and least efficient models.
In short, here’s the difference this historic deal will make:
Under the framework for an Iran nuclear deal Iran's uranium enrichment pathway to a weapon will be shut down
Let's look into Plutonium:
The third way Iran could build a nuclear weapon is by using weapons-grade plutonium. The only site where Iran could accomplish this is the Arak reactor, a heavy-water nuclear reactor. Right now, this reactor could be used in a weapons program, but under this deal, the Arak reactor will be redesigned so it cannot produce any weapons-grade plutonium. And all the spent fuel rods (which could also be source material for weapons-grade plutonium) will be sent out of the country as long as this reactor exists. What’s more, Iran will not be able to build a single heavy-water reactor for at least 15 years. That means, because of this deal, Iran will no longer have a source for weapons-grade plutonium.

Could there be a covert pathway to Iran building a secret nuclear program?

The previous three pathways occur at facilities that Iran has declared, but what if they try to build a nuclear program in secret? That’s why this deal is so important. Under the new nuclear deal, Iran has committed to extraordinary and robust monitoring, verification, and inspection. International inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will not only be continuously monitoring every element of Iran’s declared nuclear program, but they will also be verifying that no fissile material is covertly carted off to a secret location to build a bomb. And if IAEA inspectors become aware of a suspicious location, Iran has agreed to implement the Additional Protocol to their IAEA Safeguards Agreement, which will allow inspectors to access and inspect any site they deem suspicious. Such suspicions can be triggered by holes in the ground that could be uranium mines, intelligence reports, unexplained purchases, or isotope alarms.
Basically, from the minute materials that could be used for a weapon comes out of the ground to the minute it is shipped out of the country, the IAEA will have eyes on it and anywhere Iran could try and take it:
Under the framework for an Iran nuclear deal Iran's uranium enrichment pathway to a weapon will be shut down


Here's what Iran’s Nuclear Program would look like without this deal:

As it stands today, Iran has a large stockpile of enriched uranium and nearly 20,000 centrifuges, enough to create 8 to 10 bombs. If Iran decided to rush to make a bomb without the deal in place, it would take them 2 to 3 months until they had enough weapon-ready uranium (or highly enriched uranium) to build their first nuclear weapon. Left unchecked, that stockpile and that number of centrifuges would grow exponentially, practically guaranteeing that Iran could create a bomb—and create one quickly – if it so chose.
This deal removes the key elements needed to create a bomb and prolongs Iran’s breakout time from 2-3 months to 1 year or more if Iran broke its commitments. Importantly, Iran won’t garner any new sanctions relief until the IAEA confirms that Iran has followed through with its end of the deal. And should Iran violate any aspect of this deal, the U.N., U.S., and E.U. can snap the sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy back into place.
Here’s what Iran has committed to:
Under the framework for an Iran nuclear deal Iran's uranium enrichment pathway to a weapon will be shut down


Read the Iran Deal

You can read all 159 pages of the Iran nuclear agreement on Medium, featuring additional explanations from the people who negotiated the deal and will be responsible for implementing it.


What the World is Saying about the Iran Deal

Nuclear physicists, military officials, non-proliferation experts, and more than 100 countries across the globe have all voiced their support for the Iran nuclear deal because it is the best solution available to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon without taking military action. Explore below to see what they’re saying:

What Experts and Leaders are Saying

General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State
“My judgment is that it’s a pretty good deal.”
Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State
“Rejection of this accord would leave the United States isolated.”
Mel Levine, AIPAC Board Member
"It would be a terrible mistake...for Congress to reject this deal."
Sen. Dick Lugar, former Republican Senator
"This agreement represents our best chance to stop an Iranian bomb without another war in the Middle East."
Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor to President H.W. Bush
“The Iran deal: An epochal moment that Congress shouldn’t squander”
Congressman Seth Moulton, Iraq war veteran
“We have found the best available option by peaceful means rather than pursuing a worse option through war.”
Mike Breen, Iraq war veteran
“Those, like me, who have served, understand all too well the sacrifice that is required when diplomacy is abandoned.”
David Kay, veteran nuclear inspector
“We can verify this deal.”
Heads of State, The U.K., Germany, and France
“The agreement provides the foundation for resolving the conflict on Iran’s nuclear program permanently.”
U.S. Generals and Admirals, retired
“America and our allies, in the Middle East and around the world, will be safer when this agreement is fully implemented.”
U.S. Leading Scientists and Nobel Laureates
“This is an innovative agreement, with much more stringent constraints than any previously negotiated non-proliferation framework.”
Former U.S. Ambassadors
“The JCPOA deserves Congressional support and the opportunity to show it can work.”
American Rabbis
“If Congress ultimately rejects the deal, the consequences for the United States, Israel, the Jewish community and the world will be significant.”
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Experts
"The JCPOA meets key nonproliferation and security objectives."
Former U.S. Ambassadors to Israel
“This landmark agreement removes the threat that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose to the region and to Israel specifically.”
U.S. National Security Leaders
“A rejection of the agreement could leave the U.S. with the only alternative of having to use military force.”