State Dept Denies Iran Nuclear Deal Draft Being Circulated

AP Photo
AP Photo
Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, DC — A draft of a nuclear pact has not yet been worked out between Iran and the P5+1, the State Department told reporters today.

The Associated Press reported that Iran and the P5+1 (U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China, Germany) were negotiating a draft nuclear deal that would still allow the Islamic Republic 6,000 centrifuges for continued uranium enrichment.

Under the alleged plan, Iran would be allowed to maintain the 6,000 centrifuges for a minimum of 10 years and be required to cut machines it could use to build a bomb by 40 percent.

“The reports are inaccurate. There’s no draft document being circulated,” Jen Psaki, a State Department spokeswoman, told reporters today. “The fundamental framework issues are still under comprehensive discussion, and obviously that’s what the secretary is focused on now during these meetings.”

“There’s obviously not a final deal, and all of these issues are still being discussed,” she added, refusing to elaborate further.

Citing a diplomatic official from the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Al Hayat, a U.K.-based Arab newspaper, also reported that the U.S. and Iran had reached an understanding on most issues related to the nuclear negotiations.

According to the anonymous source, the two countries are planning to disclose the general framework of a nuclear pact by the end of March.

“The source claimed that the U.S. and Iran agreed on a redesign of the heavy water reactor in Arak so that it cannot produce plutonium to build a nuclear bomb,” reports Ynetnews.

“Meanwhile, Tehran agreed to dismantle its stores of highly enriched uranium at the Fordow reactor,” it adds.

The alleged nuclear deal would grant Iran immediate relief from the sanctions that have devastated its economy.

It would also roll back a U.N. arms embargo against Iran.

“A draft nuclear accord now being negotiated between the United States and Iran would force Iran to cut hardware it could use to make an atomic bomb by about 40 percent for at least a decade, while offering the Iranians immediate relief from sanctions that have crippled their economy,” officials told AP on Thursday.

As it stands now, “Iran would require only two to three months to amass enough material if it covertly seeks to ‘break out’ toward the bomb,” notes AP.

Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Many governments and U.S. lawmakers from both parties believe that the Islamic Republic aspires to make a nuclear bomb.

Forty-seven Republican U.S. Senators sent an open letter to the Iranian government warning that Congress has to ratify the nuclear pact.

Otherwise, the agreement would amount to nothing more than an executive agreement that can be revoked by the next president.

Secretary of State John Kerry, a former senator, believes that the Republican senators are wrong.

Follow Edwin Mora on Twitter: @EdwinMora83