WASHINGTON, D.C.: Success of a landmark agreement to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon relies on Tehran and Washington to interpret technical details the same way and to follow through in good faith.
Here are five potential pitfalls:
Sanctions. The deal calls for Iran to get sanctions relief after it implements parts of the agreement, including answers to questions from the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency about Iran’s nuclear research. Western nations say Iran conducted weapons research, which it denies.
The deal says Iran gets sanctions relief after it provides answers in 90 days, which would happen before the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) plans to submit its final report in December.
Inspections. The deal provides international inspectors more access to declared nuclear sites. Their ability to investigate evidence of nuclear work at suspected sites that Iran does not declare will depend on a process that could get bogged down by Iranian stonewalling.
IAEA investigators have been denied access for years to an Iranian military site at Parchin, where they suspect explosives experiments were conducted for the development of nuclear weapons.
Advanced centrifuges. The agreement limits Iran’s development of advanced centrifuge machines for 10 years. The US goal is to keep to one year Iran’s breakout period—how long it would take to produce enough uranium for one bomb—so the United States would have enough time to detect what Iran was doing and respond.
Past weapons research. The IAEA investigation to resolve questions about Iran’s alleged weapons research could establish whether Iran has secret stockpiles of enriched uranium or centrifuge machines.
American detainees. The US government alleges that three Americans held by Iran’s hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are being detained without cause. The guard controls Iran’s nuclear sites and expressed misgivings about the negotiations and opposes access to military sites.