Letter to President Obama from 15 Democratic Senators Urging Greater Transparency in Iran Nuclear Inspections

July 15, 2016

July 15, 2016

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing in reaction to the May 27 IAEA Board Report on Iran’s compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2231, the resolution which codifies the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) into international law. We supported the JCPOA and continue to believe it is the best available option to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. We are committed to ensuring that the terms of the agreement are enforced.

According to information published by the IAEA, Iran is currently in compliance with the JCPOA. We respectfully request that the United States work to ensure that the IAEA publish additional technical details that will allow for independent verification of Iran’s compliance.

The May report does not indicate the total quantity of 3.67% Low Enriched Uranium in Iran or the amount that has been produced at Natanz since the prior report. It also omits critical details regarding the number of centrifuges being used for enrichment at Natanz and lacks specifics on Iran’s ongoing centrifuge research and development. This information is critical to understanding the extent of Iran’s uranium stock, and whether Iran might be exploiting any loopholes in the 300kg cap condition as part of the JCPOA.

In addition to lacking vital information on the status of Iran’s uranium stock and enrichment capabilities, the report leaves out vital details on Iranian facilities. The report does not comment on the progress made in transitioning Fordow to a research facility or provide updates on the redesign of the Arak heavy water research reactor. This data is critical for ensuring the ability to independently verify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA.

The successful implementation of the JCPOA requires verification of Iran’s compliance with its terms. The intrusive inspection regime on Iran's nuclear program provided for by the JCPOA is a strength of the agreement. Providing additional situational awareness of Iran’s nuclear program is vital for the long-term health of this agreement. We urge your administration to ensure that the IAEA releases all relevant technical information so that we may continue to make our own judgments about the status of Iran’s nuclear program.

Signed: Sens. Gary Peters (MI, Tammy Baldwin (WI), Michael Bennet (CO), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Cory Booker (NJ), Robert Casey (PA), Chris Coons (DE), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Tim Kaine (VA), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Debbie Stabenow (MI), Jon Tester (MT), Mark Warner (VA), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Ron Wyden (OR).