Iran To Scale Back Nuclear Program Starting Jan. 20

The date marks the start of a six-month interim deal for Iran to limit its use of uranium for nuclear power.
Posted at 5:20 PM, Jan 12, 2014

The White House says Iran's nuclear program will screech to a halt Jan. 20, when the country begins dumping parts of its uranium stockpile.

That date will mark the beginning of a six-month interim plan for the Middle Eastern country to limit its use of uranium for nuclear power, as agreed upon by Iran and six other world powers. (Via Fox News

"The deal was first reached back in November and eases economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit its uranium enrichment to 5 percent." (Via CTV

"Iran has always said that its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes. ... And a lot of people believe you don't need 20 percent enriched uranium to do that. ... It's easier to go from 20 percent to 90-95 percent, which is what you would need for some sort of nuclear weapon." (Via Al Jazeera

In addition to the elimination of much of its uranium, Iran will also reportedly destroy some of its technology used to create the higher level uranium. And all of this, as the BBC reports, is a big victory for the White House. (Via CNN

"Secretary of State Kerry was very positive in his statement. He was saying that for the first time in almost a decade, Iran's nuclear program will not be able to advance and parts of it will be rolled back which is seen as a real foreign policy triumph." (Via BBC

CNN reports the terms of the deal call for Iran to stop adding more centrifuges, but The New York Times points out that doesn't mean any of the country's current centrifuges will be destroyed. 

Iran is taking these steps in exchange for lessened economic sanctions by the U.S.; however, there's growing sentiment in Congress that sanctions should actually be tightened instead. 

A group of nearly 60 senators are already pushing to increase sanctions on Iran if the nation doesn't meet the requirements of the deal. This puts Democratic leader Harry Reid in a tough spot. (Via Press TV

President Obama has urged a more reserved approach, writing Sunday: ​"Imposing additional sanctions now will only risk derailing our efforts to resolve this issue peacefully, and I will veto any legislation enacting new sanctions during the negotiation." (Via Politico