Deal in Place, Iran Halts 20 Percent Uranium Enrichment

First Sanctions Relief Begins Under P5+1 Interim Pact

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed Iran is complying with the terms of the interim nuclear deal with the P5+1, which went into effect early Monday morning, and has halted all remaining enrichment at 20%.

The deal obliged Iran to halt all enrichment over 5%, and while Iran has mostly already done so, the IAEA witnessed the stoppage of the last of the 20% process, inaugurating the 6-month interim pact. The only other enrichment Iran is carrying out is at 3.5%, the level needed for the Bushehr power plant, and that will continue at current levels.

The United States, European Union and other nations are also beginning to ease economic sanctions against Iran per the terms of the deal, as well as unfreezing a portion of Iran’s overseas assets.

Though the sanctions relief itself is expected to be fairly minimal, Russia is said to be in talks with Iran for a significant new trade deal under the new system, which could be a major boost for both nations.

The interim deal is meant to provide cover for the negotiation of a permanent rapprochement between Iran and the Western world, and talks to that end are expected to start in early February.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.