By: Richard Meyer ~Copy Editor~
A framework for a deal with Iran regarding a restriction on nuclear weapons was released on April 2 following a meeting in Switzerland.
Leaders from six world powers met with Iranian representatives to discuss the agreement that limits the country’s nuclear program in exchange for an alleviation of economic sanctions. The countries represented were the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia.
The first part of the agreement requires Iran to reduce the number of centrifuges in the country to 6,100 with only 5,000 that enrich uranium. Currently, Iran has 10,000 working centrifuges. The reduced number of centrifuges will still be able to be used for research purposes.
The second part allows Iran to enrich uranium enough to power parts of the country, but restricts the enrichment to an amount that cannot build a nuclear weapon.
Iran must also reduce its stores of enriched uranium from 10,000 kilograms to 300 kilograms for the next 15 years. Reducing the centrifuges and the enrichment increases the time it would take to build a nuclear weapon from two months to one year.
The deal prevents Iran from using the Fordow nuclear reactor, the country’s largest, to enrich uranium for the next 10 years.
The United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency will gain access to all declared facilities in order to ensure that Iran is not conducting any activity that violates the deal.
If Iran follows through, the United States and the European Union will be required to lift sanctions that limit oil trade with Iran, a major constraint on the country’s economy.
The deal has been met with criticism from U.S. Republicans, who have demanded that the deal be put to a vote by Congress.
Israel is also critical of the deal, as Iran and Israel have a history of tense relations.
The final agreement is expected to be reached by June 30.