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In a new report published by the Institute for Science and International Security, David Albright and Paulina Izewicz analyze Iran’s centrifuge research and development program and advocate for a future deal that limits Iran’s ability to produce advanced centrifuges. Although the agreement may help to hinder future development of centrifuges, Albright and Izewicz conclude that the agreement is unlikely to seriously affect current centrifuge research and development. They make note, however, that the transparency goals set forth in the Joint Plan of Action lay a substantial framework for a future “comprehensive solution.” As they state in their conclusion, all research and development activities should be made available and transparent in the final agreement to “limit the capability of Iran’s centrifuges, so as to make breakout in secret significantly more difficult.”

 

Read the full report here.

 

Iran’s centrifuge R&D program poses several risks to the verifiability of a comprehensive
solution under the Joint Plan of Action. Negotiations on a comprehensive solution should seek
to place further limitations on this program and establish effective monitoring practices, as part
of an agreement on a mutually defined enrichment program with mutually agreed parameters.
Limiting Iran’s centrifuge R&D program and improving the monitoring of any remaining
activities is a priority.
To that end, under a comprehensive solution, all centrifuge R&D activities should be declared to
the IAEA and conducted only at the Natanz enrichment site, which should be the only
enrichment site that exists under a comprehensive solution. All centrifuge testing, with or
without nuclear material, would occur at this site. In particular, this site would be the sole
location to test rotor assemblies, whether tested in air, under vacuum, or with uranium
hexafluoride.