U.S. Moves to Clear Obstacles to Iran Nuclear Deal – Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee
Obama administration officials said they have taken a series of steps in recent days to overcome the sticking points that tripped up an international agreement over Iran’s nuclear program. U.S. negotiators will join with global powers for three days of negotiations with Iran starting Wednesday in Geneva.
The offer to be presented to Tehran in Geneva includes a provision requiring Iran to stop the production of uranium enriched to 20% purity, and to convert all of its stockpile into an oxide not usable in weapons. Other provisions would limit the numbers and capacity of Iran’s operating centrifuges; enable more expansive UN inspections; and include an Iranian agreement not to make the Arak plutonium reactor operational. U.S. officials said sanctions relief will be implemented in stages to assure that Iran is complying with its agreements.
While the administration is working aggressively to keep lawmakers from passing new sanctions while talks are ongoing, a senior administration official said “the potential for additional sanctions is leverage….So it is good that Iran knows that new sanctions is an option.” (Wall Street Journal)