Explained:Iran’s nuclear programme

News:Iran has announced that it would inject uranium gas into centrifuges that had previously been kept empty under its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.


About Iran Nuclear Deal:

  • Iran Nuclear deal is also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
  • The deal was signed in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 group (US,UK, France, Russia, China and Germany).
  • The deal restricts Iran’s nuclear programme,in return for lifting most economic sanctions against it.

Key Provisions of the deal:

  • Iran had agreed to reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium by 98% and limit uranium enrichment to 3.67% which means it will have enough enriched uranium to maintain the country’s energy needs without having the ability to build a nuclear bomb.
  • Limits on number of nuclear centrifuges(centrifuge is a device used to enrich uranium) 
  • Restrictions on plutonium enrichment
  • Stopping Iran from operating at Arak nuclear site which was used to make plutonium 
  • Allowing International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA) for inspections.
  • The deal has also increased the breakout time to 1 year.Breakout time is the time it would take Iran to produce enough bomb-grade material for a single nuclear weapon.

Why has Iran breached the nuclear deal?

  • Iran had stopped complying with some commitments in the 2015 nuclear deal after the United States had unilaterally withdrew from the accord in 2018 and renewed sanctions on Iran.
  • The US had also stepped up its pressure on Iran by ending exemptions from secondary sanctions for countries such as India from buying Iranian oil.This move crippled the Iranian government’s principal source of revenue.