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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Number of Operating Centrifuges Key Issue Holding Back Iran Nuclear Deal

Sputnik News

19:25 19.11.2014(updated 20:51 19.11.2014)

The number of centrifuges Tehran will be allowed to operate under the nuclear deal is one of the key issues standing in the way of an agreement on Iran's nuclear program.

VIENNA, November 19 (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova – The number of centrifuges that Tehran will be allowed to operate under the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group is one of the key issues standing in the way toward a comprehensive agreement on Iran's nuclear program, Director for Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association told Sputnik on Wednesday.

'Determining the size and scope of Iran's uranium enrichment program has certainly been one of the most difficult issues to resolve, and I think this is an outstanding issue that is holding up a comprehensive agreement,' Kelsey Davenport said. 'Particularly the number of centrifuges that Iran will be allowed to operate under the final deal.'

Davenport outlined that the P5+1 powers – Russia, the United States, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany – want to see a significant reduction in about 10,000 operating centrifuges, while Iran wants to retain as many as it can.

'So determining that exact figure has posed a challenge,' she said noting that 'thus far the P5+1 has done an excellent job not letting the external conflicts disrupt their internal unity.'

The director said all six mediators agreed that Iran with nuclear weapons was not 'in their best interest', and that they should stay focused on preventing such a thing in the future.

Iran's nuclear program has been a matter of controversy, as the West has accused the country of attempts to develop nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program, although Tehran has denied the claims.

During talks in Geneva in November 2013, the P5+1 group agreed to reach a deal with Iranian authorities guaranteeing the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program by July, with the deadline for the agreement subsequently being extended to November 24.


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