'Secret' appendix to JCPOA cuts Iran's 'breakout' time to six months
An anonymous diplomat has shared with the Associated Press a secret appendix to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which removes many of the limitations on Iran's uranium enrichment activities about ten years from now. And the result cuts Iran's 'breakout' time from what's claimed to be a year to six months or less.
The confidential document is the only text linked to last year's deal between Iran and six foreign powers that hasn't been made public, although U.S. officials say members of Congress who expressed interest were briefed on its substance. It was given to the AP by a diplomat whose work has focused on Iran's nuclear program for more than a decade, and its authenticity was confirmed by another diplomat who possesses the same document.
Both demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to share or discuss the document.
The diplomat who shared the text with the AP described it as an add-on agreement to the nuclear deal in the form of a document submitted by Iran to the International Atomic Energy Agency outlining its plans to expand its uranium enrichment program after the first 10 years of the nuclear deal.
But although some of the constraints extend for 15 years, documents in the public domain are short on details of what happens with Iran's most proliferation-prone nuclear activity — its uranium enrichment — beyond the first 10 years of the agreement.
The document obtained by the AP fills in the gap. It says that as of January 2027 — 11 years after the deal was implemented — Iran will start replacing its mainstay centrifuges with thousands of advanced machines.
Centrifuges churn out uranium to levels that can range from use as reactor fuel and for medical and research purposes to much higher levels for the core of a nuclear warhead. From year 11 to 13, says the document, Iran will install centrifuges up to five times as efficient as the 5,060 machines it is now restricted to using.
Those new models will number less than those being used now, ranging between 2,500 and 3,500, depending on their efficiency, according to the document. But because they are more effective, they will allow Iran to enrich at more than twice the rate it is doing now.
Components other than centrifuge numbers and efficiency also go into the mix of how quickly a nation can make a nuclear weapon. They include how much enriched uranium it has to work with, and restrictions on Iran's stockpile extend until the end of the deal, crimping its full enrichment program.
But a comparison of outputs between the old and newer machines shows the newer ones work at double the enrichment rate. That means they would reduce the time Iran could make enough weapons grade uranium to six months or less from present estimates of one year.
And that time frame could shrink even more. While the document doesn't say what happens with centrifuge numbers and types past year 13, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told The AP that Iran will be free to install any number of advanced centrifuges beyond that point, even though the nuclear deal extends two additional years.
That will give Iran a huge potential boost in enrichment capacity, including bomb making should it choose to do so. But it can be put to use only after the deal expires.
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Here in Israel, we'd like to thank President Obama for being an Islamophile and a sleazebag. We hope you live long enough to die - slowly and painfully - as a result of an Iranian nuclear explosion. We'd like to thank all the Senate Democrats who voted in favor of the deal for putting party loyalty above common sense, world safety and peace and tranquility. We'd like to thank all those former heads of our intelligence services who made Netanyahu look like a fool for opposing the Iranian sellout.
And we'd like to ask Prime Minister Netanyahu where he misplaced his junk in 2012.
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu, centrifuges, Eugene Moniz, Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran sanctions regime, Iranian nuclear threat, John Kerry, Meir Dagan, uranium enrichment