US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said the joint statement outlining the key parameters of a final nuclear deal issued in Lausanne on April 2 provides a “sound path” toward reaching a settlement to allay concerns regarding Tehran’s nuclear program.
The Lausanne statement provides a “technically sound path for certifying Iran’s nuclear program as peaceful,” he said in an article published by the Washington Post on Sunday. “Iran has repeatedly emphasized its commitment to a peaceful program, but today’s reality of national and UN sanctions highlights the international community’s concern about Iran’s past nuclear activity. The Lausanne understanding is not built on trust. It is built on hard-nosed requirements that would limit Iran’s activities and ensure vital access and transparency.”
Moniz said the negotiated parameters would ensure that Iran’s nuclear activities will remain peaceful.
Iran denies its nuclear work may have any military objectives, saying the program is solely for peaceful applications.
“To start, Iran would not have a source of weapons-grade plutonium. The Arak reactor would be redesigned and internationally certified to produce much less plutonium and no weapons-grade plutonium. In addition, we have agreed that all of the plutonium-bearing spent reactor fuel would be sent out of the country for the lifetime of the reactor,” Moniz said.
He went on to say that Iran would reduce the number of operational centrifuges at Natanz to just over 5,000, and for a decade its only operational centrifuges would be first-generation IR-1s.
He added, “Iran would no longer use the underground Fordo facility to enrich uranium or conduct uranium enrichment R&D; in fact, no uranium would even be allowed at the facility. Nearly two-thirds of the centrifuges and infrastructure would be immediately removed, with just more than 10 percent of the centrifuges left operational. Furthermore, over time these centrifuges would be transitioned to non-uranium activities, and Fordo would become a physics research and medical isotope center. The monitoring provisions of an agreement would easily detect any misuse of the facility.”
Elsewhere, he said Iran would quickly implement, and eventually ratify, the Additional Protocol to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards agreement. The IAEA would also be allowed to use advanced technologies to enhance continuous monitoring, he noted.
Commenting on differences between the fact sheets put out by Iran and the US, Moniz said the parameters of the fact sheets remain the same, adding that the US and its negotiating partners will continue to work toward a formal agreement with Iran.