Expert: Still ‘Very Serious Gaps’ Between U.S., Iran

6 major rifts remain in framework nuclear deal

John Kerry / AP
• April 6, 2015 10:23 am


Despite announcing that the framework for a deal has been reached, the United States and Iran are still far apart on six issues crucial to the nuclear agreement, according to Israel expert Ehud Ya’ari.

Ya'ari, an international fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said "very serious gaps" became apparent after the sides released competing fact sheets following the announcement of the framework deal.

Ya'ari noted six publicly apparent rifts between the sides, according to the Times of Israel:

1. Sanctions: Ya’ari said the U.S. has made clear that economic sanctions will be lifted in phases, whereas the Iranian fact sheet provides for the immediate lifting of all sanctions as soon as a final agreement is signed, which is set for June 30.

(In fact, the U.S. parameters state that sanctions will be suspended only after Iran has fulfilled all its obligations: "U.S. and EU nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps." By contrast, the Iranian fact sheet states: "all of the sanctions will be immediately removed after reaching a comprehensive agreement.")

2. Enrichment: The American parameters provide for restrictions on enrichment for 15 years, while the Iranian fact sheet speaks of 10 years.

3. Development of advanced centrifuges at Fordo: The U.S. says the framework rules out such development, said Ya’ari, while the Iranians say they are free to continue this work.

4. Inspections: The U.S. says that Iran has agreed to surprise inspections, while the Iranians say that such consent is only temporary, Ya’ari said.

5. Stockpile of already enriched uranium: Contrary to the U.S. account, Iran is making clear that its stockpile of already enriched uranium — "enough for seven bombs" if sufficiently enriched, Ya’ari said — will not be shipped out of the country, although it may be converted.

6. PMD: The issue of the Possible Military Dimensions of the Iranian program, central to the effort to thwart Iran, has not been resolved, Ya’ari said.

(The U.S. parameters make two references to PMD. They state, first: "Iran will implement an agreed set of measures to address the IAEA’s concerns regarding the Possible Military Dimensions (PMD) of its program." And they subsequently add: "All past UN Security Council resolutions on the Iran nuclear issue will be lifted simultaneous with the completion, by Iran, of nuclear-related actions addressing all key concerns (enrichment, Fordo, Arak, PMD, and transparency)." The Iranian fact sheet does not address PMD.)

Published under: Iran, John Kerry, Nuclear Weapons