Iran Revises Voluntary Compliance With Nuclear Limits

Rouhani urges negotiation of new terms since US withdrew from pact

While it is being broadly covered in the US as though Iran is violating the P5+1 nuclear deal, Wednesday’s announcement was exactly what officials said it would be on Tuesday, a revision in which Iran scrapped certain voluntary limits on their civilian nuclear program.

Two things were actually changed: Iran will no longer limit its stockpile of low enriched uranium, and will no longer limit its stockpile of heavy water. These limits were both explicitly allowed to be abandoned by Iran if any of the P5+1 abandoned the deal, as the United States has done.

The timing makes particular sense, as the US not only withdrew from the nuclear deal, but issued statements last week warning Iran would no longer be allowed to send uranium to Russia for processing, nor to export heavy water abroad. Though the US is not allowed legally to impose such limits under the deal, Iran clearly didn’t abandon the voluntary limits arbitrarily, but to keep production ongoing despite recent US hostility.

Iran remains 100% in compliance with the deal, and the other members say they will also remain so, so long as that compliance is the case. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, however, suggested some renegotiation might be in order, given the inability of the international community to fulfill its guarantees under the pact amid US threats.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of