Just the Facts

Five Facts on the Iran Nuclear Deal

By No Labels
May 9, 2019 | Blog

On May 8, 2019 Iran announced it would no longer comply fully with the Iran Nuclear Deal, a year after President Trump announced the U.S. would be pulling out of the deal. Here are the facts.

1. The Iran nuclear deal is an agreement between Iran and six other nations that was made international law.

Formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the deal was created in 2015 to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remained peaceful and not working to develop nuclear weapons, and in exchange provided for billions of dollars in sanctions relief. The agreement is between Iran, the U.S., Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.[1]Because the agreement was part of a United Nations Security Council resolution, it was made international law. 

2. The agreement carefully capped nuclear material used by Iran and required inspection.

The deal had three key elements, reducing the availability of amount of material necessary to produce nuclear power. CNN writes that enough material is provided to power part of the country’s energy, but not enough to build a nuclear weapon.[2]Iran additionally had to stop any research and development using uranium and lastly, had to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect their nuclear facilities.[3]

3. Trump announced he would pull the U.S. out of the agreement in 2018. 

In May 2018, Trump announced he would be restoring sanctions on Iran, breaking the deal Iran and other countries agreed upon. Iran then announced in May 2019 it would no longer comply with some components of the nuclear deal following Washington’s break, including the production of fissile material.[4]Iran gave the other countries of the agreement an ultimatum and warned that the other countries either join the U.S. or resume oil trade with Iran; the former will result in Iran ceasing to abide by all restrictions.[5]The EU has rejected the ultimatum.


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4. Iran has been building a nuclear facility

In 2013, Iran agreed to not fuel their reactor under an interim deal and vowed it would not be commissioned. The reactor could fuel a nuclear bomb. Under the Nuclear Deal, Iran stated the reactor would not be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium, and all fuel would not be kept within the country. Now that the deal is broken, Iran vowed to keep the fuel, and continue operation of the facility.[6]

5. Iran is still bound to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the only binding commitment to disarmament of nuclear weapons by 190 nations, and five nuclear-weapon states. Created in 1970, the goal of the treaty is to ensure the use of nuclear energy and power by countries is solely peaceful. The IAEA conducts inspections in order to verify compliance. 


[1]https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/smart-facts/what-iran-nuclear-deal-n868346

[2]https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/08/middleeast/iran-us-nuclear-deal-background-intl/index.html

[3]https://www.cnn.com/2015/07/14/politics/iran-nuclear-deal-highlights/index.html

[4]Ibid.

[5]https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/08/iran-threatens-to-pull-out-of-some-parts-of-2015-nuclear-deal.html

[6]https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33521655

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