Iran has ceased enriching uranium above five percent concentration, International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors confirmed on Monday, as an historic interim deal between the Islamic Republic and world powers over its controversial nuclear program officially began.
The assumption of the Joint Plan of Action is an important milestone for modern Iran, as well as for those concerned about its nuclear ambitions. Developments on Monday marked the first time in over a decade that Iran’s leaders willingly paused, and even began rolling back, aspects of its nuclear work.
Additionally, Iran disabled its centrifuge cascades built to enrich uranium to higher grades, and has begun diluting its stockpile of uranium already enriched to near- 20% concentration.
In a prepared statement, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that “taken together, these concrete actions represent an important step forward.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned, however, that the Joint Plan of Action would not prevent Iran from implementing its intentions to create nuclear weapons. In a speech welcoming visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the Knesset, Netanyahu said that stopping the Iranians from gaining the capacity to build a nuclear weapon must still be the international community’s goal.
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