A secret deal allow allows Iran to jump-start its nuclear program after President Barack Obama leaves office, the Associated Press reported on Monday.
Key provisions in the international executive agreement signed by Obama last October restricting Iran’s ability to build nuclear weapons will start to ease long before the 15-year agreement expires.
These were reportedly add-on agreements brokered after the deal was in place and kept secret from the public, according to the diplomat who shared the secret document with the global wire service. Another diplomat, who had the same document in his possession, confirmed its existence to the AP:
Key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program imposed under an internationally negotiated deal will start to ease years before the 15-year accord expires, advancing Tehran’s ability to build a bomb even before the end the pact, according to a document obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
The document is the only text linked to last year’s deal between Iran and six foreign powers that hasn’t been made public, although U.S. officials say members of Congress have been able to see it. It was given to the AP by a diplomat whose work has focused on Iran’s nuclear program for more than a decade, and its authenticity was confirmed by another diplomat who possesses the same document.
The diplomat who shared the document with the AP described it as an add-on agreement to the nuclear deal. But while formally separate from that accord, he said that it was in effect an integral part of the deal and had been approved both by Iran and the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, the six powers that negotiated the deal with Tehran.
As early as January 2027, Iran will be allowed to use advanced centrifuges capable of rapidly enriching enough radioactive material to make a nuclear weapon. Analysts estimate that the use of advanced centrifuges, which are five times more efficient than the current centrifuges used by the country, will allow Iran to produce a nuclear weapon in less than a year.
The Obama administration, which lauded the Iran deal as a great success, has tried to downplay the revelation of the secret side deal with the Iranians.
“As to any alleged document, I just can’t speak to it at this point in time,” said State Department spokesman Mark Toner in a Monday press briefing, according to the Washington Examiner.