Steps Iran Made to Complete its Obligations
The atomic bomb can be made from two types of radioactive materials: plutonium and uranium. Iran has agreed to reduce its low-enriched uranium stockpile by 98 percent for 15 years, leaving only a part of 300 kilogram (660 pounds) of the material—an amount insufficient for a bomb rush. The shrinking was completed on Dec. 28, after most of the uranium was shipped to Russia. The agreement also implied dismantling some 12,000 centrifuges used for enriching uranium, which is two-thirds of their total amount. This point was needed in the case that the Iranian government renounced the deal and reactivated its nuclear program. Then, it would take more than a year for Iran to race toward nuclear weapon. Tehran also poured cement into the core of its plutonium-producing nuclear reactor in the city of Arak as part of the country’s efforts to complete its obligations under the international agreement. The reactor’s spent fuel must also be shipped out of the country, and no additional heavy water reactors should be built for the next 15 years.
Simultaneously with the scrapping of the sanctions, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced the release of five American prisoners, including a Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian charged by an Iranian court with espionage and an American student who was an Iranian prisoner for 40 days, as part of a prisoner exchange. In their turn, U.S. officials reported the release of seven Iranians, six of whom are dual U.S.-Iranian citizens accused or convicted of violating sanctions. Washington also dropped its cases against fourteen other Iranians it sought to extradite from other countries.