Draft of Iran deal said to allow 6,000 centrifuges
A draft version of a nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran would require Iran to reduce its number of centrifuges by roughly 40 percent, The Associated Press reported Thursday.
It would limit Iran to 6,000 centrifuges, rather than the approximately 10,000 it has right now, for at least 10 years. The AP reported that the U.S. had originally hoped that the Iranians would cap their centrifuges at 500 to 1,500.
President Obama has said that any deal would have to freeze Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon for at least 10 years.
As expected, the deal would also lift economic sanctions on Iran.
If a deal doesn’t materialize, there may be consequences for Iran. The administration would join Congress in imposing additional sanctions if it is not able to reach a deal with Iran, Reuters reported on Thursday.
Negotiators in Switzerland are fast approaching a self-imposed deadline to reach a framework for an agreement. The talks could conceivably be extended, though Obama has said he would prefer not to stretch out the negotiations once again. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that an extension might make sense if the outlines of a deal were in place.
A deal would be seen as a significant diplomatic achievement for Kerry, who is currently in Switzerland meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
But it would also be closely scrutinized. Forty-seven Senate Republicans endorsed an open letter to Iranian leadership last week saying that they could kill any deal once Obama leaves office.
The debate over the deal is also intensified by the victory of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party in Tuesday’s parliamentary elections.
Netanyahu is a vocal critic of the talks with Iran, and will likely continue to challenge the Obama administration as officials look to reach an accord.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.