Report claims loopholes in Iran nuclear deal

Sunday 11/09/2016
Iranian Vice President Eshagh Jahangiri standing next to Iranian Atomic Organisation Chief Ali Akbar Salehi (C) as Ayatollah Gholam Ali Safaei Bushehri (C-bottom), Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s representative in Bushehr province, breaks the ground during

London - Iran has 50 tonnes of material that can be used to create nu­clear weapons stored in Oman and under the Islamic repub­lic’s control, a report by the In­stitute for Science and International Security, a Washington think-tank, stated.
The motivations behind the stor­age of the nuclear materials came with the revelation by the think-tank that Tehran received last-minute “secret” exceptions from the United States and its negotiat­ing partners, known as the P5+1, to meet the deadline for the removal of economic sanctions.
The Institute for Science and International Security, in a report released September 1st, said the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) placed detailed limitations on Iran’s nuclear programme that needed to be met by January 16th, 2016.
The report said Iran met most of the conditions but some nuclear stocks and facilities were not in accordance with set limits by mid- January and the Joint Commission secretly exempted the Islamic re­public from those limits.
The think-tank revealed that among the exemptions were two that allowed Tehran to exceed the limits set by the deal as it pertains to how much low-enriched uranium (LEU) Iran could keep in its nuclear facilities, with a senior official stat­ing, off the record, that without the approved exemptions, the deadline would not have been met.
According to the report, a loop­hole was agreed to that would al­low before the deadline for Iran to export heavy water in excess of the JCPOA’s 130 tonnes cap for sale on the open market.
However, with no buyers, the Joint Commission allowed Iran to store large amounts of heavy wa­ter in Oman but still under Tehran’s control, in effect, “allowing Iran to exceed its cap of 130 tonnes of heavy water as it continues to pro­duce heavy water at its Arak facil­ity”, the report said.
“There are a number of points regarding the Iranian nuclear agree­ment that warrants concern and has led some in the US to question it, while others are enthusiastic about the agreement,” said Alex Vatanka, senior fellow and Iran expert at the Middle East Institute in Washing­ton.
Vatanka attributed the exemp­tions to the Obama administration’s determination to secure an agree­ment with Iran under any circum­stances, adding that this agreement was not just a demand from Wash­ington but that there were other parties, including Moscow, exerting pressure for this agreement.
The revelation of Gulf Coopera­tion Council (GCC) member Oman’s involvement in facilitating matters for the Islamic republic, with the approval of the Joint Committee comes at a time when the majority of the GCC have either severed ties with Tehran or have downgraded relations due to what the council describes as Iranian interference in Gulf Arab affairs.
There is a belief within the other GCC members that Muscat is pivot­ing too closely towards Tehran and a fear that its traditional path of neutrality has been compromised. Saudi authorities were taken by sur­prise over news that, in late 2014, Oman brokered talks between the United States and Iran that eventu­ally led to the nuclear agreement between Tehran and world powers.
In January, when a mob attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran over the execution of a radical Shia preacher whose followers were tied to a number of police killings, Oman did not sever or downgrade diplo­matic ties with Iran.
After the think-tank report’s re­lease, US State Department spokes­man John Kirby denied the nuclear agreement had been breached, stat­ing: “There’s been no loosening of the commitments and Iran has not and will not under the JCPOA be al­lowed to exceed the limits that are spelled out in the JCPOA.”