A new report by a Washington, D.C. think tank allegedly reveals the U.S. secretly agreed Iran did not have to comply with restrictions under the nuclear deal, to get Iran sanctions relief funding as soon as possible.
“The exemptions or loopholes are happening in secret, and it appears that they favor Iran,” President of the Institute for Science and International Security David Albright told Reuters. Albright alleges he received the information from U.S. officials, but his findings have not been confirmed by the U.S. government.
One of the loopholes identified by the think tank reportedly allows Iran to exceed the officially agreed upon amount of low-enriched uranium. This type of uranium is vital to the Iran deal, because it can quite easily be purified into weapons grade uranium needed for a nuclear weapon.
Iran was supposed to turn over its entire stockpile of low-enriched uranium to Russia in December 2015. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the time said it was “one of the most significant steps Iran has taken toward fulfilling its commitment.” President Barack Obama echoed these sentiments and reiterated that “with the unprecedented monitoring and access this deal puts in place, if Iran tries, we will know and sanctions will snap back into place.”
Another loophole allegedly allows Iran to continue operating 19 different radiation containment chambers that are larger than allowed under the nuclear deal. The report notes, “misused for secret, mostly small-scale plutonium separation efforts.” Plutonium is a key material in nuclear weapons manufacture.
Experts cautioned to Reuters that if the secret loopholes obfuscate the true amount of low-enriched uranium Iran possesses, it would be impossible to know how much Uranium the group could yield.
The deal also required Iran to limit the amount of heavy water, which Iran can use to fuel its nuclear reactor. The agreement allowed Iran to sell its excess heavy water to the highest bidder, but could not find a willing buyer. The administration and western powers instead allowed Iran to ship the excess water to nearby Oman, but maintain total control over its use.
The White House alleges it frequently and clearly informed Congress of the secret exemptions. Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, a senior figure on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, pushed back on this claim saying “I was not aware nor did I receive any briefing.”
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