“We will only accept an agreement that cuts off the different pathways to the fissile material that Iran needs for a nuclear weapon,” a senior U.S. administration official said. (AFP, 28 February)
The U.S. official spelled out where Washington was standing firm:
- Iran should not be allowed to develop weapons-grade plutonium at its Arak reactor. “We’re discussing how Iran can convert that Arak reactor to serve a different purpose,” the official said.
- Iran should not use its Fordo nuclear plant to enrich uranium.
- That would leave only Natanz plant capable of enriching uranium.
- Any deal must ensure that it would take Iran a year to gather enough fissile material to make a bomb.
- Iran should “reduce significantly” its current number of operating centrifuges and its domestic stockpile.
- Iran must agree to unprecedented inspections of both nuclear and production facilities as well as uranium mines and mills, and suspect sites.
- The U.S. is pursuing a deal in which relief from international sanctions “is phased in over a period of time.”