Iran’s nuclear progress renders JCPOA moot.

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January 11, 2022
Reality intrusion on Iran nuclear talks: Iran’s nuclear progress renders the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) essentially moot. Even with revisions proposed by the Biden Administration, recommitment to the JCPOA would provide little protection.
The JCPOA is intended to provide a one-year window of safety between Iran’s commitment to build a nuclear weapon and the possession of sufficient enriched uranium to construct such a weapon. Iran has already reduced that window of time to weeks.
Iran has recently increased advanced gas centrifuge production, stores of highly enriched uranium (HEU), and a capacity to increase uranium metal production.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Institute for Science & International Security (ISIS) estimated reports, by November 2021, Iran had sufficiently stockpiled enough weapon-grade uranium (WGU) in the form of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) that it would need only three to six weeks to produce a functional nuclear weapon. By further enriching its five percent enriched stocks, Iran could build three nuclear devices with a three to four month period.
According to the IAEA Iran Verification and Monitoring Report of November 2021, Iran’s stockpiles of “near 20 and 60 percent enriched uranium” were now sufficient to produce the approximately 25 kilograms of the enriched WGU needed for a nuclear weapon within weeks. In addition, Iran could be in a position to test such a weapon within about six months. Such an underground test would, itself, racially change and destabilize the Middle East security situation.
The November 2021 report follows on May 2021 IAEA report, derestricted in June 2021, titled NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran which documented previously undisclosed Iranian nuclear sites where anthropogenically-manipulated uranium particles were detected. The IAEA concluded that “explanations provided by Iran for the presence of these particles (was not) technically credible.”
Iran still lags in missile delivery capabilities, but the capacity to produce and test a nuclear weapon already exits and is irreversible. Accordingly, the entire purpose of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — which was continually violated by Iran (e.g. multiple violations of strategic trade controls, including the accumulation of IR-2m, IR-4, and IR-6 centrifuges) is moot.
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References and additional reading:
(1) IAEA Iran Verification and Monitoring Report of November 2021,  https://www.iaea.org/…/default/files/21/11/gov2021-51.pdf
(2) NPT Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran https://www.iaea.org/…/default/files/21/06/gov2021-29.pdf
 (3) Other views: Analysis of IAEA Iran Verification and Monitoring Report – November 2021 https://www.fdd.org/…/2021/11/19/iaea-iran-verification/
 (4)Other views: “In many ways, Iran’s nuclear capabilities now greatly exceed their status in early 2016, when the JCPOA was implemented. Its breakout time, namely the time needed to produce enough weapon-grade uranium for a single nuclear weapon or explosive device, is on order of one month.” — David Albright and Sarah Burkhard,  Institute for Science and International Security https://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/irans-recent-irreversible-nuclear-advances/8
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