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US pushes Iran to reduce nuclear stockpile — paper

November 25, 2016, 10:17 UTC+3 NEW YORK

Under the plan, Iran will cut its stockpile of enriched uranium far below the agreed 300-kilogram limit

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© EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

NEW YORK, November 25. /TASS/. Washington and its allies are trying to persuade Iran to further reduce its nuclear stockpile to encourage president-elect Donald Trump not to abandon the nuclear accord with Tehran, Wall Street Journal reported.

Talks on reducing the amount of enriched uranium that Iran currently holds started months ago, the paper said, citing officials. But after the election of Trump, who publicly criticized the deal and pledged to review it, the issue has taken on new urgency.

Under the plan, which is currently under discussion, Iran will cut its stockpile of enriched uranium far below the agreed 300-kilogram limit.

According to the paper’s sources, Iranian representatives joined consultations on the issue, but no agreement was reached so far.

The outgoing administration is also considering other possibilities to preserve the deal when President Barack Obama leaves office.

The talks over the Iranian nuclear dossier began back in 2004, after the western countries accused Tehran of covertly running a nuclear weapons program. Starting from 2006 the talks with Iran were conducted by the P5+1 group - the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. In 2006-2010 the United Nations, the United States and the European Union imposed several rounds of sanctions against Iran.

Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for the Iranian nuclear program, agreed on July 14, 2015, Iran pledges to produce no weapons-grade plutonium, to store no more than 300 kg of uranium enriched to 3.67% for a period of fifteen years, reequip its nuclear facilities and use them exclusively for peaceful purposes. The weapons embargo imposed by the UN Security Council will remain effective for five years, the ban on the supply of ballistic technologies to Iran - for eight years, and IAEA specialists will be inspecting Iranian nuclear facilities for 25 years.

On January 16, 2016 the United Nations, the United States and the European Union lifted their sanctions on Iran. The US decrees on sanctions were suspended but not canceled altogether.

During his election campaign Trump said that the Obama Administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran was disgraceful for the United States. He vowed to revise it if elected president.

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