Shaheen Statement on Announcement that Iran has Fulfilled its Initial Nuclear Agreement Commitments

January 16, 2016

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) released the following statement after the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran has fulfilled its initial commitments under the international agreement to curb its nuclear capabilities:

"I supported the nuclear deal with Iran because I believe it is the best way to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.  We now know that Iran has fulfilled its initial commitments under the nuclear agreement, taking steps that have blocked all of its paths to a nuclear weapon.  These steps have also extended the time Iran would need to acquire the nuclear material for a weapon from a few months to more than a year.  These are significant achievements that would not have been possible without the nuclear deal.”

“Going forward, we should do all we can to ensure this deal succeeds.  That means vigorously enforcing the agreement.  We must also demonstrate to Iran and to our allies, especially Israel, that we will redouble our efforts to counter Iran’s destabilizing behavior outside the scope of this agreement.”

Today, the IAEA confirmed that Iran has taken the following actions to comply with the Iran deal: 

  • Slashing its stockpile of enriched uranium by at least 97 percent.  Iran shipped more than 25,000 pounds of low-enriched uranium (LEU) out of the country.  For at least the next 15 years, Iran will be left with a stockpile of less than 700 pounds of LEU—far less than what would be needed for a bomb even if that uranium were further enriched.
  • Surrendering a majority of its uranium enrichment capacity.  Iran has removed and placed under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitoring more than 13,000 installed centrifuges (two-thirds of its pre-deal total), including its more advanced centrifuges.  Iran has ceased all uranium enrichment activities at its underground Fordow facility and is barred from enriching uranium above the low levels (3.67 percent—well short of weapons grade) for 15 years.
  • Modifying the Arak heavy water reactor to block its production of weapons-grade plutonium.  Iran has destroyed the existing reactor core and agreed to a redesign that will prevent the reactor from providing a plutonium pathway to a bomb.
  • Accepting the most rigorous international verification and monitoring regime ever negotiated.  Iran has accepted a multilayered monitoring system that includes continuous IAEA monitoring of all parts of Iran’s declared nuclear program and mandatory access by inspectors to any other site they deem suspicious.

Senator Shaheen is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee.