White House releases technical details of Iran deal

McClatchy Washington BureauJanuary 16, 2014 

The White House released to Congress and the public the "technical understandings" related to the controversial nuclear deal with Iran that's slated to go into effect on Monday.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the understandings are "essentially instructions" to the International Atomic Energy Agency -- the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency -- for how it carries out the joint plan of action.

The administration has been under pressure from Congress and elsewhere to release more details of the deal and Carney said that although such documents are not always made public, the release is part of the administration's "fulfillment of our commitment to release as much information in the text as possible to the public."

He said, however, it was the IAEA's preference that "certain technical aspects of the technical understandings remain confidential."

The summary says Iran has agreed to immediately halt production of near-20% enriched uranium and disable the configuration of the centrifuge cascades its been using to produce it.

In addition, the IAEA will verify a number of requirements, including that Iran is not enriching uranium in roughly half of installed centrifuges at Natanz and three-quarters of installed centrifuges at Fordow, including all next generation centrifuges and that it's not constructing additional enrichment facilities or going beyond its current enrichment R&D practices.

The summary says Iran agreed to provide increased and "unprecedented transparency into its nuclear program, including through more frequent and intrusive inspections as well as expanded provision of information to the IAEA."

As part of the initial step, the P5+1 and EU will provide what the White House calls "limited, temporary, and targeted relief to Iran." It says the total value is between $6 and $7 billion – "a small fraction of the $100 billion in Iranian foreign exchange holdings that will continue to be blocked or restricted."

The White House says the relief is structured, "so that the overwhelming majority of the sanctions regime, including the key oil, banking, and financial sanctions architecture, remains in place – and sanctions will continue to be vigorously implemented throughout the six-month period."

 

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