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Former White House Coordinator for Arms Control and WMD Terrorism

Visiting Vienna: What Haley Needs to Remember About Verifying the Iran Nuclear Deal

This week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is traveling to Vienna to discuss Iran’s nuclear activities with officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The ambassador’s visit precedes the Oct. 15 quarterly deadline for the Trump administration to certify whether Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Troublingly, while the IAEA has demonstrated Iran’s compliance in its reports seven times since the deal took effect, President Donald Trump reportedly tasked his aides with providing a...

UN Security Council Resolutions on Iran

August 2017

Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

Updated: August 2017

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has adopted seven resolutions as part of international efforts to address Iran’s nuclear program, although only one is in effect today. When Iran and the P5+1 reached a comprehensive nuclear deal on July 14, 2015, the UN Security Council endorsed the deal and put in place measures to lift UN sanctions that targeted Iran's nuclear program. The resolution, 2231,retained some restrictions on ballistic missile activities and arms sales. It was passed on July 20, 2015 by a unanimous vote.

The central demand in the first six resolutions was that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment program, as well as undertake several confidence-building measures outlined in a February 2006 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors resolution - including reconsidering the construction of its heavy-water reactor and ratifying the IAEA Additional Protocol. The council initially laid out these calls in a nonbinding Security Council presidential statement adopted in March 2006. (See ACT, April 2006.)

Almost all the resolutions were adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, making most of the provisions of the resolutions legally binding on Iran, or all UN member states. Four of them included a series of progressively expansive sanctions on Iran and or Iranian persons and entities. The sanctions represented one track in a “dual-track approach” pursued by the permanent five members of the council and Germany (the so-called P5+1), to address Iran’s nuclear program. The other track involved a series of proposals to reach a negotiated settlement. (See History of Proposals on the Iranian Nuclear Issue.) Details on the first six resolutions can be found below the information for Resolution 2231.

UN Security Council Resolutions Quick Links

Resolution 1696 (2006)

Resolution 1737 (2006)

Resolution 1747 (2007)

Resolution 1803 (2008)

Resolution 1835 (2008)

Resolution 1929 (2010)

Resolution 2231 (2015)

Security Council Resolution 2231

On July 20, 2015, the UN Security Council unanimously passed resolution 2231. 

The full text of Resolution 2231 is available here. 

Resolution 2231's Principal Provisions

This resolution endorsed the comprehensive nuclear deal (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) reached between Iran and the P5+1 on July 14, 2015, and laid the groundwork for the Security Council to lift nuclear-related sanctions on Iran when Tehran completed key steps under the deal that restricted its nuclear activities. Iran met the requirements in January 16, 2016.

Resolution 2231 retains the arms embargo on Iran for five years after implementation and the sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program for eight years. Both could be lifted earlier if the IAEA reaches a determination about Iran’s nuclear program known as the Broader Conclusion. These sanctions are "nuclear-related" as they were put in place under Resolution 1929. Iran is also “called upon” not to undertake activities on ballistic missiles designed to be nuclear-capable.

The resolution requests that if states engage in the sale of dual-use materials to Iran, they use the procurement channel application process set up by the JCPOA to regulate Iran's imports of these materials.

Resolution 2231 also requests that the IAEA undertake the necessary monitoring and verification to implement the deal.

Resolution 2231's Monitoring Mechanisms

The resolution also puts in place language laying out the procedure to reimpose UN sanctions.

The Security Council resolution requests reports from the IAEA on implementation of the deal and the agency's efforts to reach a broader conclusion about Iran's nuclear program. The Resolution also requests reports every six months from the UN Secretary General on implementation of Resolution 2231. 

Prior UN Security Council Resolutions

Security Council Resolution 1696

On July 31, 2006, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1696 under Article 40 of the UN Charter. Fourteen countries voted in favor of the resolution; only Qatar voted against it.

The full text of Resolution 1696 is available here.

Resolution 1696’s Principal Provisions

In Resolution 1696, the council called on Tehran to suspend its enrichment program and verify its compliance with the IAEA Board of Governor’s requirements. It encouraged Iran to take these steps as confidence building measures.

The resolution expressed the council’s “intention…to adopt appropriate measures under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations” if Iran did not cooperate. However, such measures would not be adopted automatically. The resolution underlined that the council must undertake “further decisions…should such additional measures be necessary.”

The first Security Council resolution to address the Iranian nuclear program, Resolution 1696 did not contain sanctions, but was the basis for future sanctions resolutions Specifically it:

  • Demanded that Iran suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the IAEA.
  • Called on states to follow their existing domestic law and international law to “exercise vigilance and prevent the transfer of any items, materials, good and technology that could contribute to Iran’s enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and ballistic missile programmes.”

The resolution warned Iran that its failure to comply by August 31, 2006 could result in punitive Security Council measures, such as economic sanctions.

Resolution 1696’s Monitoring Mechanisms

The resolution called for a report from the Director General of the IAEA by August 31 on Iran’s compliance with this resolution.

Security Council Resolution 1737

On December 23, 2006, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1737 unanimously under Article 41 of the UN Charter in response to Iran’s failure to comply with Resolution 1696.

The full text of Resolution 1737 is available here.

Resolution 1737’s Principal Provisions

The resolution echoed the principal provisions of Resolution 1696, requiring Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities, and to take other confidence-building measures. In addition, Resolution 1737:

  • Obligated Iran to suspend work on its heavy-water reactor projects rather than just reconsider them.
  • Called on Iran to ratify the IAEA’s Additional Protocol.

Resolution 1737’s Sanctions

The resolution imposed sanctions against both the state of Iran and Iranian individuals and entities deemed to be providing support for Iran’s proliferation-related activities.

Resolution 1737 decided that all states should:

  • Prevent the supply, sale, or transfer of designated nuclear and ballistic missile-related goods to Iran to ensure that Iran cannot employ the designated goods in its enrichment-related, reprocessing, or heavy water-related activities, or its development of nuclear weapon delivery systems.
  • Refrain from providing technical or financial assistance, training, or resources related to certain nuclear and ballistic missile-related goods.
  • Refrain from importing designated nuclear and ballistic missile-related items from Iran.

Three provisions in Resolution 1737 targeted Iranian individuals and entities by calling on states to:

  • Exercise vigilance regarding the entry into their territory of individuals engaged in Iran’s nuclear or ballistic missile activities.
  • Freeze the funds, financial assets, and economic resources of designated individuals who are involved with Iran’s nuclear programs.
  • Preventing the “specialized teaching or training of Iranian nationals” of subjects that would enhance Iran’s nuclear goals.

The resolution did permit states to export nuclear and ballistic missile-related goods that are not itemized in the resolution’s control lists if: certain guidelines were followed, end-user controls were put in place, and the 1737 Committee was notified. It was also necessary for states to notify the IAEA to export certain nuclear and ballistic missile-related materials to Iran.

Resolution 1737’s Monitoring Mechanisms

Resolution 1737 set out numerous measures to monitor compliance with the resolution. In paragraph 18 it established a Committee (known as the 1737 Committee) to oversee the implementation of the resolution’s key provisions. A subsequent paragraph required states to furnish reports to the Committee detailing their compliance with the resolution.

In addition, the Director General of the IAEA was required to report to the IAEA Board of Governors and to the Security Council within 60 days of the resolution being issued on whether Iran had suspended its enrichment and heavy water-related activities. The UNSC then reviewed Iran’s actions based on the findings of that report. It was then incumbent upon the council to decide to either suspend or terminate the resolution’s sanctions if Iran complied with them. In the event that Iran had not complied with the sanctions, the Security Council was empowered to adopt further measures as it saw fit.

Security Council Resolution 1747

On March 24, 2007, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1747 unanimously under Article 41 of the UN Charter.

The full text of Resolution 1747 is available here.

Resolution 1747’s Principal Provisions

This resolution was adopted as a result of Iran’s failure to comply with the previous two resolutions. It called on Iran to take the steps required by the IAEA Board of Governors and outlined in Resolution 1737 to verify that its nuclear program has only peaceful purposes. Resolution 1747 also encourages Iran to consider the June 2006 proposals to reach a long-term comprehensive agreement with the P5+1.

Resolution 1747’s Sanctions

The resolution repeated and enhanced some of the key sanctions from Resolution 1737 while also introducing some new measures.

Resolution 1747 enhanced its predecessor’s sanctions by:

  • Calling on states to exercise “restraint” (in addition to the “vigilance” called for in 1737) regarding the entry of persons into their territory associated with Iran’s nuclear program. Resolution 1747 added further names to the list of individuals entering their territory who must be reported to the 1737 Committee.
  • Requiring states to freeze the “funds, other financial assets and economic resources” of 28 additional individuals and entities.
  • Expanding the list of items prohibited for export to or import from Iran to include any arms or related material.

Resolution 1747 also introduced the following new sanctions:

  • Called on states to “exercise vigilance and restraint” in the supply, sale, or transfer of major military weapons systems and related material to Iran, as well as the provision of any technical assistance, financial assistance, or other service related to the provision of these items.
  • Called on states and international financial institutions “not to enter into new commitments for grants, financial assistance, and concessional loans” with the Iranian government unless for humanitarian or developmental purposes.

Resolution 1747’s Monitoring Mechanisms

Like its predecessor, all states were required to report to the 1737 Committee within 60 days of Resolution 1747’s adoption on the steps taken to implement it. Also within 60 days, the Director General of the IAEA was instructed to furnish a report on Iran’s compliance with the resolution to both the IAEA Board of Governors and to the Security Council.

Security Council Resolution 1803

On March 3, 2008, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1803 with 14 of the council’s 15 members voting in favor. Indonesia abstained from the vote stating that it “remain[ed] to be convinced of the efficacy of adopting additional sanctions” against Iran.

The full text of Resolution 1803 is available here.

Resolution 1803’s Principal Provisions

This resolution was adopted as a response to Iran’s decision not to comply with any of the previous resolutions. It reiterates the council’s desire that Iran halt its enrichment program and urges Iran to comply with the IAEA.

Resolution 1803’s Sanctions

Resolution 1803 enhanced the previous sanctions on individuals and entities involved with Iran’s nuclear program by:

  • Augmenting the list of people that states must report to the 1737 Committee if they enter their territory.
  • Requiring states, for the first time, to “prevent the entry into or transit through their territories” of designated individuals involved in pursuing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
  • Expanding the number of individuals subjected to frozen funds, financial assets, and economic resources.

Resolution 1803 also outlines sanctions that apply directly to the Iranian state, by:

  • Broadening the scope of restrictions on the supply, sale, or transfer of nuclear and ballistic missile-related items to Iran established in Resolution 1737 and setting down new provisions to prevent Iran from developing its nuclear program.
  • Calling on states to be vigilant “in entering new commitments for public provided financial support for trade with Iran,” lest such support be used by Iran to pursue its nuclear weapons ambitions.
  • Calling on states to “exercise vigilance over the activities of financial institutions in their territories with all banks domiciled in Iran,” to prevent such activities from enhancing Iran’s nuclear program.
  • Calling on states to inspect cargo going to or from Iran on aircraft and vessels owned or operated by Iran Air Cargo and Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line, where they have reasonable grounds for suspecting the cargo consists of goods prohibited under resolutions 1737, 1747, or 1803.

Resolution 1803’s Monitoring Mechanisms

Like its predecessors, Resolution 1803 set out a number of reporting mechanisms that states and the Director General of the IAEA were to fulfill to monitor compliance with this resolution. Echoing previous resolutions, Resolution 1803 required states to file reports with the 1737 Committee within 60 days of being issued, detailing the steps taken to implement the resolution.

It also requested the Director General of the IAEA to submit a report to the IAEA Board of Governors and to the Security Council within 90 days of the resolution’s adoption, stating the extent to which Iran had complied with Resolutions 1737, 1747 and 1803. Upon receiving the Director General’s report, the Security Council was empowered to suspend, terminate or extend the sanctions in place against Iran as deemed appropriate.

Resolution 1803 extended the 1737 Committee’s scope from overseeing the implementation of only Resolution 1737 to also overseeing the implementation of Resolutions 1747 and 1803. 

This resolution also introduced a requirement that states must report to the Security Council when they inspect the cargo of an Iranian aircraft or vessel. The report must be filed within five working days of the inspection and it must detail “the grounds for the inspection, as well as information on its time, place circumstances, results and other relevant details.”

Security Council Resolution 1835

Resolution 1835 was unanimously adopted on September 27, 2008.

The full text of Resolution 1835 is available here. 

Resolution 1835’s Principal Provisions

In contrast to its predecessors, Resolution 1835 was not adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, nor did it set out new provisions that Tehran was required to comply with. Instead, it simply reaffirmed the four previous resolutions, as well as a statement made by the Security Council’s President on March 29, 2006. It then reaffirmed the council’s commitment “to an early negotiated solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.”

Resolution 1835’s Sanctions

This resolution did not outline new sanctions against Iran.

Resolution 1835’s Monitoring Mechanisms

This resolution did not outline new monitoring mechanisms.

Security Council Resolution 1929

On June 9, 2010, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1929, with 12 countries voting in favor, Brazil and Turkey voting against, and Lebanon abstaining.

The full text of Resolution 1929 is available here.

Resolution 1929’s Principal Provisions

The resolution reiterated the UNSC’s demands from previous resolutions that Iran halt all enrichment activity and other activities related to nuclear weapons development.

Resolution 1929’s Sanctions

This resolution, the sixth round of sanctions against Iran, included:

  • Banning Iran from investing in nuclear and missile technology abroad, including investment in uranium mining. 
  • Establishing a complete arms embargo on Iran, banning the sale of “battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles or missile systems” to Iran.
  • Prohibiting Iran from undertaking any activity related to ballistic missiles. The resolution requires states to take necessary measures to prevent technology relevant to ballistic missiles from reaching Iran.  It also updates the list of items banned for transfer to and from Iran. 

Resolution 1929 also subjected Iran to a new inspection regime designed to detect and stop Iranian smuggling.  States are:

  • Called upon to inspect vessels on their territory that are suspected of carrying Iranian prohibited cargo, and are expected to comply with these rules on the high seas, including disposing of confiscated Iranian prohibited cargo. 
  • Required to refuse services to ships that are not in compliance with these sanctions.

Lastly, this resolution included financial sanctions targeting Iran’s ability to finance proliferation activities by:

  • Subjecting three companies related to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, 15 IRGC-related companies and 40 other Iranian companies to an asset freeze.

Further, states were:

  • Requested to report any circumventing of sanctions by Iran. 
  • Required to obligate their citizens and corporations to “exercise vigilance” when doing business with Iran or Iranian entities that contribute to proliferation efforts. 
  • Called upon to limit their interactions with Iranian financial institutions.

Resolution 1929’s Monitoring Mechanisms

Resolution 1929 requested that the Secretary-General create a panel of eight experts to “assist the Committee in carrying out its mandate” and “make recommendations on actions the Council, or the Committee or State, may consider to improve implementation of the relevant measures.”

It “urge[d]” states and relevant UN bodies to comply with the recommendations of the Panel of Experts and “call[ed] upon” states to submit a report 60 days after the adoption of the resolution on how they plan to comply with the sanctions regime.  It also requested a report within 90 days of the resolution’s adoption from the IAEA on whether Iran had complied with the demands of this and previous resolutions.

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The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, July 27, 2017

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IAEA Investigations of Iran's Nuclear Activities

July 2017

Contact: Kelsey Davenport, Director for Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102

Updated: July 2017

Ali Akbar Salehi (left), the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, and Yukiya Amano, director-general of the IAEA, sign a framework agreement in Tehran on November 11, 2013. (Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) first publicly outlined its concerns about Iranian activities related to the development of a nuclear weapon in an annex to its November 2011 quarterly report on Iran's nuclear program. The report laid out 12 main areas for investigation, discussed in detail below. These issues became known as the possible military dimensions, or PMDs, of Iran’s nuclear program. The IAEA’s concerns about these activities pre-dated the public report, and little progress was made to resolve these issues until 2013. 

In November 2013, Iran and the IAEA announced a Joint Framework for Cooperation in which Iran agreed to take several steps to address the IAEA’s concerns, including providing information and access to research reactors and production plants. The IAEA added additional steps in 2014. Before Iran completed all of the steps, the 2013 Framework for Cooperation was superseded by the 2015 Roadmap for the Clarification of Past and Present Outstanding Issues regarding Iran’s Nuclear Program, which required Iran to provide information on all the concerns the IAEA had identified in the 2011 report.

The 2015 Roadmap was announced concurrently with the nuclear deal concluded between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States). Sanctions relief in the nuclear deal was contingent upon Iran cooperating with the agency’s investigation. The IAEA released its assessment to conclude the Roadmap process in December 2015. 

2015 Roadmap for the Clarification of Past and Present Outstanding Issues Regarding Iran’s Nuclear Program 

The July 14, 2015 Roadmap laid out a schedule for Iran to address the IAEA’s concerns and the agency to complete its investigation.

The IAEA announced on August 15, 2015 that Iran met the first deadline for providing documents and written explanations to the agency's questions regarding the 12 main areas for investigation as outlined in the November 2011 annex. The agency submitted follow-up questions to Iran on September 9, and on September 20, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and Deputy Director General Tero Varjoranta traveled to Tehran to discuss the investigation and visit the Parchin site. They confirmed that environmental samples were taken at Parchin for analysis in IAEA labs. On October 15, 2015, the deadline for additional responses, the IAEA confirmed that Iran had responded to its follow-up questions and completed all activities under the roadmap.

The completed assessment, released on December 2, 2015, concluded that Iran had pursued a nuclear weapons program prior to 2003, including a coordinated “range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device,” but did not divert nuclear material from its civilian nuclear program as part of its weaponization efforts.

The report found that although Tehran’s organized nuclear weapons program ended in 2003, some activities continued through 2009. According to the assessment, the “activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities.” The agency said it found “no credible indications” that nuclear material was diverted to the weapons program or that any undeclared activities have taken place since 2009.

In several areas, like nuclear testing preparations and fuzing, arming, and firing a payload, the IAEA did not receive any new information. In other areas, such as Iran’s work at a uranium mine, the IAEA assessed that Tehran’s activities were consistent with its declaration to the IAEA. However, the IAEA assessed that Iran’s program structure, computer modelling of a nuclear explosive device, and certain types of experiments with detonators were part of a nuclear weapons development program prior to 2003.

Mark Toner, deputy spokesman at the U.S. Department of State, said on December 2 that the IAEA’s conclusion is “consistent with what the United States has long assessed with high confidence.”

Following a meeting on December 15, 2015, the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors voted unanimously to close the investigation into Iran's past weaponization work while continuing to report on Iran's implementation of the July 2015 nuclear deal with the P5+1.

Iran's ambassador to the IAEA Reza Najafi said that Iran "disagreed" with some of the agencies findings, arguing that the “scientific studies of dual-use technologies have always been for peaceful civilian or conventional military uses” rather than nuclear weapons work, he said.

The full text of the "road-map for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran’s nuclear program" is available here. Highlights of the IAEA's findings in each of the 12 areas are below:

  1. Program management structure: The IAEA assessed that, prior to 2003, Iran had an organized structure “suitable for the coordination of a range of activities relevant” to nuclear weapons design. The activities that continued beyond 2003 were not a coordinated program.
  2. Procurement activities: The IAEA had “indications” that Tehran attempted to purchase items relevant to developing a nuclear weapon prior to 2007 and information that Iran purchased materials for its fuel cycle activities through companies not affiliated with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. Iran admitted to looking into procuring a high speed camera for conventional purposes, but said it ultimately did not do so.
  3. Nuclear material acquisition: The IAEA assessed that the Gchine uranium mine, previously thought to be a potential source of uranium for undeclared nuclear activities between 2000-2003, would not have produced any substantial amounts of nuclear material before 2006. The IAEA found that the activities at the mine were consistent with Iran’s explanations and declarations. Overall, the IAEA assessed that “any quantity of nuclear material” that would have been available for the nuclear weapons development program “would have been within the uncertainties associated with nuclear material accountancy and related measurements.”
  4. Nuclear components for an explosive device: The IAEA had evidence that Tehran had access to documentation on the conversion of uranium compounds to uranium metal, which is part of the weaponization process, and made progress on reducing a uranium compound into a metal form. Tehran denied that it conducted any metallurgical work for weapons purposes. The IAEA’s final assessment found no indication of Iran conducting activities related to the uranium metal document.
  5. Detonator development: The IAEA assessed that Iran’s work on explosive bridgewire detonators have “characteristics relevant to a nuclear explosive device.” The agency found that some of Iran’s explanations, that the detonators were developed as a safer alternative because of explosive accidents, were “inconsistent” and “unrelated” to the IAEA’s timeframe for detonator development.
  6. Initiation of high explosives and associated experiments: Iran admitted to the IAEA in August and September 2015 that it conducted work on certain types of explosives, but had a “technical requirement for the development” of multipoint initiation explosive technology for conventional weaponry. The IAEA noted that there are non-nuclear weapons applications for the development, but assessed that the work was “relevant to a nuclear explosive device.”
  7. Hydrodynamic experiments: As part of its investigation over the past several months, IAEA officials were able to visit Parchin, a military site where the agency suspected that Tehran conducted hydrodynamic tests in an explosive chamber. Since the IAEA requested access in 2012, Iran conducted extensive construction and renovations. Tehran said in September 2015 discussions with the IAEA that one of the main buildings in question was used for storing chemicals for the production of explosives. Environmental sampling at the site found “chemically man-made particles of uranium” but did not indicate that it was used for long-term storage of chemicals as Iran claimed. The IAEA assessed that its satellite imagery analysis and environmental sampling “does not support Iran’s statements on the purpose of the building” and that Iran’s activities at the site impeded the agency’s investigation. The IAEA did not draw a definite assessment as to what occurred at Parchin.
  8. Modelling and calculations: The IAEA assessed that Iran conducted modelling and calculations related to nuclear explosive configurations prior to 2004 and between 2005-2009. During the agency’s investigation between August-October 2015, Iran maintained that it was not in a position to discuss its work on hydrodynamic modelling because it was for conventional military purposes and not an IAEA concern. The IAEA noted in its report that there are conventional applications for such modelling, and that the calculations derived from the modelling were incomplete and fragmented, but assessed overall that Iran conducted computer modelling of a nuclear explosive device between 2005-2009.
  9. Neutron initiator: The IAEA’s evidence indicated that Iran continued work on neutron initiators after 2004, although the agency assessed prior to the July 2015 agreement with Iran that some of the indicators that Iran undertook work on generating neutrons through shock-compression was “weaker than previously considered.” Iran provided the IAEA with information about its neutron research and let the IAEA visit a research intuition in October 2015. Iran maintained that its research in the area was not related to “shock-driven neutron sources.”
  10. Conducting a test: The IAEA noted it has not received any additional information regarding Tehran's plans to conduct a nuclear test since its November 2011 report. The IAEA noted in the November 2011 report that Iran may have undertaken “preparatory experimentation” relevant to a nuclear weapons explosive device and obtained a document on the safety arrangements for explosive nuclear testing.
  11. Integration into a missile delivery vehicle: The IAEA assessed that two of the workshops it identified in 2011 as producing components and mock up parts for engineering of a Shahab-3 (Iran’s medium-range ballistic missile) re-entry vehicle for a nuclear warhead exist, and that the capabilities are “consistent with those described” in documentation provided to the agency on Tehran’s work on a re-entry vehicle.
  12. Fuzing, arming, and firing system: The IAEA report noted in the Final Assessment report that it had not received any new information since the November 2011 report on development of a prototype firing system for a Shahab-3 payload that would allow the missile’s payload to safely re-enter the atmosphere and then explode above a target or upon impact.

2013 Joint Statement on Framework for Cooperation

Prior to reaching the July 2015 roadmap, the IAEA and Iran had taken some steps to clarify the outstanding issues between 2013-2014. 

Under the November 11, 2013 Framework for Cooperation, Iran and the IAEA committed to resolve the agency's concerns through a step-by-step process to address all of the outstanding issues. An annex to the framework laid out the first six actions that Iran pledged to take within three months (see details below).

On February 9, 2014, Iran and the IAEA announced a further seven actions that Iran would take by May 15, 2014 (see details below). Iran completed the initial two sets of actions within the time period specified, all of which fall into one of the 12 main areas of investigation. In June 2014, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said that the agency would not issue an assessment on any action until the investigation was completed and the agency could assess the information gathered as a system.

A May 20, 2014 meeting resulted in an agreement on an additional 5 actions to be taken by August 25, 2014 (see details below). Iran completed three of the five actions by the end of August 2014. Two remaining issues related to nuclear weapons development remained unresolved. Iran and the IAEA met several times throughout the spring, and in its May 29, 2015 quarterly report, the IAEA noted that Iran shared information on one of the outstanding issues related to nuclear weapons development. Before all of these actions were completed, this agreement was superseded by the July 2015 Roadmap. 

The full text of the initial Framework for Cooperation and its accompanying annex is available here. The detailed steps taken under the original framework are laid out below.

Iranian Actions to be Completed by February 11, 2014


Provide mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Gchine mine in Bandar Abbas.


Iran facilitated IAEA access to the Gchine uranium mine on January 29, 2014.

Provide mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Heavy Water Production Plant.


The IAEA visited the Heavy Water Production Plant at the Arak site on December 8, 2013.

Provide information on all new research reactors.


In a February 9 joint statement, the IAEA and Iran announced that Iran completed the actions agreed to on November 11.

Provide information with regard to the identification of 16 sites designated for the construction of nuclear power plants.


In a February 9 joint statement, the IAEA and Iran announced that Iran completed the actions agreed to on November 11.

Clarification of the announcement made by Iran regarding additional enrichment facilities.


In a February 9 joint statement, the IAEA and Iran announced that Iran completed the actions agreed to on November 11.

Further clarification of the announcement made by Iran with respect to laser enrichment technology.


In a February 9 joint statement, the IAEA and Iran announced that Iran completed the actions agreed to on November 11.

Iranian Actions to be Completed by May 15, 2014


Providing mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Saghand mine in Yazd.


An IAEA team was provided access to the Saghand mine on a May 5-6 visit to Iran.

Providing mutually agreed relevant information and managed access to the Ardakan concentration plant.


An IAEA team was provided access to the Ardakan plant on a May 6 visit to Iran.

Submission of an updated Design Information Questionnaire (DIQ) for the IR-40 Reactor (Heavy Water Reactor at Arak).


In its March 20 report on the Joint Plan of Action, the IAEA noted that Iran completed an updated DIQ for the agency on February 12. Iran provided follow-up information in response to the agency's questions about the DIQ on March 29.

Taking steps to agree with the Agency on the conclusion of a Safeguards Approach for the IR 40 Reactor.


Iran and the IAEA met on May 5 to continue work on the safeguards for the IR-40 reactor at Arak. The approach is not yet completed.

Providing mutually agreed relevant information and arranging for a technical visit to Lashkar Ab’ad Laser Centre.


The agency was able to visit the center on March 12.

Providing information on source material, which has not reached the composition and purity suitable for fuel fabrication or for being isotopically enriched, including imports of such material and on Iran’s extraction of uranium from phosphates.


Iran provided this information to the IAEA in an April 29 letter.

Providing information and explanations for the Agency to assess Iran’s stated need or application for the development of Exploding Bridge Wire detonators.


Iran provided the IAEA with information on the detonators at a meeting on April 26 and in subsequent letters on April 30 and an additional May 20 meeting.

Iranian Actions to be Completed by August 25, 2014


Exchanging information with the Agency with respect to the allegations related to the initiation of high explosives, including the conduct of large scale high explosives experimentation in Iran.

In its May 29, 2015 quarterly report, the IAEA noted that Iran shared information on one of the outstanding issues related to nuclear weapons development.

(While Iran did not complete this activity on schedule, it was resolved by Aug. 15, 2015 as part of the new July 14, 2015 roadmap)

Providing mutually agreed relevant information and explanations related to studies made and/or papers published in Iran in relation to neutron transport and associated modelling and calculations and their alleged application to compressed materials.


In its May 29, 2015 quarterly report, the IAEA noted that Iran shared information on one of the outstanding issues related to nuclear weapons development.

(While Iran did not complete this activity on schedule, it was resolved by Aug. 15, 2015 as part of the new July 14, 2015 roadmap)

Providing mutually agreed information and arranging a technical visit to a centrifuge research and development centre.


According to the Sept. 5 IAEA quarterly report, IAEA inspectors were able to visit this facility on Aug. 31.

Providing mutually agreed information and managed access to centrifuge assembly workshops, centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities.


The Sept. 5 IAEA quarterly report said that the agency was able to access these sites Aug. 18-20.

Concluding the safeguards approach for the IR-40 reactor.


The agency and Iran completed the safeguards approach on Aug. 31, six days after the Aug. 25 deadline.

Note: this factsheet was previously titled "Implementation of the Iran-IAEA Framework for Cooperation"

Strategic Arms Control and Policy

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Senator Reiterates Support for Iran Nuclear Deal

Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), in keynote remarks yesterday at a Middle East Institute conference on U.S. policy toward Iran, argued the United States should continue upholding the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), while also pushing back on Iran for other actions as needed. The Trump administration is currently reviewing its own policy toward Iran, including U.S. participation in the nuclear deal, despite the success of the agreement to date. Coons said the Iran review is being conducted in a “thorough and professional manner” by the National Security...

PRESS RELEASE: Iran Nuclear Deal Still Working Effectively



Statement from Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy

For Immediate Release: July 13, 2017

Media Contacts: Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy, (202) 463-8270 ext. 102; Daryl G. Kimball, executive director, (202) 463-8270 ext. 107 

(Washington, D.C.)—Two years ago on July 14, six world powers and Iran finalized an historic nuclear agreement with Tehran that removed the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon. The nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has proven to be a nonproliferation success. The agreement has significantly restricted Iran’s nuclear activities and imposed an intrusive monitoring and verification regime. The threat of a nuclear-armed Iran no longer looms over the international community.
Despite the success of the deal, some policymakers in Washington are recklessly urging the Trump administration to abandon the agreement on the basis of inaccurate claims that Tehran is violating the accord. Six reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency demonstrate that Iran is meeting its commitments and the Trump administration certified in April that Iran is living up to its end of the deal.
Before taking unilateral steps that risk the success of the agreement, Washington should carefully consider the consequences. Abandoning an agreement that is verifiably blocking Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons is irresponsible and dangerous. It would further destabilize the region, and could open the door to a nuclear-armed Iran or increase the prospect of a costly war in the Middle East. Additionally, pulling out of a multilateral agreement that benefits international security sends the message to U.S. allies and partners that Washington cannot be trusted to follow through on its commitments.
Given the current instability in the Middle East, it is now more vital than ever that Washington continue to support the nuclear deal with Iran and look for options to build on the agreement. Full implementation of the accord benefits U.S. national security and international efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
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Statement from Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy

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The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Deal Alert, July 2017

The Iran Nuclear Deal Turns Two Friday, July 14, will mark the two-year anniversary of the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) and Iran finalizing the nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA.) Since the deal was completed in 2015, Iran has restricted its nuclear activities and allowed for far more extensive monitoring and verification. Six reports of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) show that Iran is meeting its commitments under the deal. In return, Iran is benefiting from U.S., EU, and UN sanctions...

REMARKS: Dealing with North Korea: Lessons from the Iran Nuclear Negotiations

July/August 2017
By Suzanne DiMaggio

Kelsey Davenport (left) and Suzanne DiMaggio (right) at the 2017 Arms Control Association Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. (Photo Credit: Terry Atlas/Arms Control Association)The Trump administration’s re­cently completed North Korea policy review calls for “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang, but leaves open room for engagement. Although President Donald Trump warned in an interview in late April that “a major, major conflict” with the North was possible, he also said he would prefer a diplomatic outcome. Following “Track 2” talks in Oslo in May, a senior North Korean diplomat, Choe Son Hui, told reporters that his country is open to dialogue with the United States “under the right conditions.” The task at hand is to find out what the right conditions might be.

In thinking through a diplomatic path, it is worth considering some lessons from the Iran nuclear negotiations. Of course, the two cases are very different. One obvious difference is that North Korea has nuclear weapons; Iran has never possessed a nuclear weapon and is a member of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. It is clear that the applicability of the Iran deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as a model is limited at best, but the process of diplomacy that the United States pursued with Iran could offer some insights on how to begin engagement with an adversary whose leadership is extremely distrustful of the United States and vice versa.

There are three elements of diplomacy with Iran that we should be looking at. The first is to initiate a low-key diplomatic channel authorized at the highest level. Prior to the start of official negotiations, diplomats from the United States and Iran engaged in a series of meetings held secretly over a period of about 16 months. These eventually led to the multilateral P5+1 talks and an interim agreement in November 2013. Given the level of mistrust between Pyongyang and Washington, it would be a good first step to try to have a dialogue without preconditions. We can call it “talks about talks” to help clarify the acceptable conditions to begin negotiations. How can we meet them and overcome differences? What are the non-negotiables?

The second element is to focus on a limited set of realistic objectives, not a grand bargain. The U.S.-Iranian discussions were limited to what both sides deemed to be a very specific, manageable set of items in the nuclear field. The United States placed a priority on preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon; the Iranians focused on lifting sanctions. Now the United States must decide on its highest priority with North Korea. It must zero in on identifying a key, early goal that is within the realm of achievability. To diffuse tensions, the best bet would be to begin by pursuing a freeze on North Korea’s nuclear testing. One of the key goals would be to get International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors back into the country. One of the most remarkable elements of the JCPOA is its extensive monitoring and verification requirements. It is an important precedent we should strive to emulate.

A suspension of testing is an interim step, and a nuclear weapons-free Korean peninsula should remain an end goal. Writing recently in The New York Times, Harvard scholar Graham Allison asked rhetorically, “Is United States’ national security really strengthened if a 33-year-old dictator with a record of executing his enemies and defying red lines is left with an arsenal of 20 warheads and missiles that can deliver nuclear strikes against Seoul and Tokyo?” We know the answer. The suspension of testing is an important first step that could create the space to pursue an additional agreement or agreements.

The third element is to pursue a win-win approach. The United States and Iran committed themselves to a win-win narrative in their early talks that enabled them each to say they succeeded in fulfilling their objectives at the end. This reinforced the understanding that each side would have to make compromises.

Recently, I was on a panel, and one of the other participants disagreed with what I was proposing. The reason, he said, was that we have tried diplomacy with the North Koreans before—it is too difficult, they cheat, and they cannot be trusted. I heard the same arguments about Iran for years. In fact, during the 35 years of hostility before the JCPOA was reached, there were countless failed attempts at diplomacy, as well as missed opportunities. Yet, we now have an agreement that is working.

Because we have failed in the past does not mean we should not try again. Indeed, we should learn from past attempts.

Suzanne DiMaggio is a director and senior fellow at New America, where she directs a long-running U.S.-Iran policy dialogue and a recently launched a U.S.-North Korea “Track 2” dialogue. This piece is adapted from remarks at the Arms Control Association’s annual meeting on June 2.

REMARKS: Dealing with North Korea: Lessons from the Iran Nuclear Negotiations

Iran Hits Syria With Ballistic Missiles


Iran launched six ballistic missiles at the Islamic State group in Syria following a June 7 terrorist attack in Tehran. The June 19 strike used Zolfaghar missiles, a solid-fueled system with a claimed range of 700 kilometers. According to Israeli news reports, three missiles fell in Iraq, short of the target in Syria. Iranian Gen. Ramazan Sharif described the strike as successful and threatened more if there are further attacks by the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for the June 7 attack on Iran’s parliament and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s mausoleum.

This was Iran’s first use of ballistic missiles since its war with Iraq in the 1980s, and it is unclear if the launch runs counter to the July 2015 UN Security Council resolution that endorsed the Iran nuclear deal. Security Council Resolution 2231 calls on Iran not to undertake “any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” The Zolfaghar’s specifications likely meet the international standard for nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, which is defined as one capable of carrying a 500-kilogram payload more than 300 kilometers. Iran has argued after testing missiles meeting the nuclear-capable specifications that its activities do not run counter to the resolution because the systems are not “designed” to carry nuclear weapons.—KELSEY DAVENPORT

Iran Hits Syria With Ballistic Missiles


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