Senators: Iran sanctions deal should do more to roll back nuclear program

( U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), John McCain (R-AZ), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Susan Collins (R-ME) wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry stating that the Iran sanctions relief being considered by the P5+1 countries “should require Iran to roll back its nuclear program more significantly than now envisioned.”

The proposed U.S.-backed Iran sanctions relief deal does not require Iran to stop work on the Arak heavy water reactor (pictured), which produces plutonium. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The current U.S.-backed deal reportedly being offered to Iran requires the Islamic Republic to suspend high-grade (20 percent) uranium enrichment for six months, while allowing Iran to maintain 3.5-percent enrichment for civilian use. The deal does not require Iran to reduce its number of centrifuges, and lets Iran continue work on the plutonium-producing Arak heavy water reactor.

“It is our belief that any interim agreement with the Iranians should bring us closer to our ultimate goal, which is Iran without a nuclear weapons capability,” the six U.S. senators wrote to Kerry. “We must ensure that the steps we take in the coming weeks and months move us towards a resolution that ultimately brings Iran in compliance with all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, seeks to prevent Tehran from possessing any enrichment or reprocessing capability, and resolves any and all fears that Iran will develop a nuclear weapons capability.”

Posted on November 19, 2013 .