Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

 

On July 14, 2015, the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Union (EU), and Iran reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful.

October 18, 2015 marked Adoption Day of the JCPOA, the date on which the JCPOA came into effect and participants began taking steps necessary to implement their JCPOA commitments.

January 16, 2016, marks Implementation Day of the JCPOA.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has verified that Iran has implemented its key nuclear-related measures described in the JCPOA, and the Secretary State has confirmed the IAEA’s verification.

As a result of Iran verifiably meeting its nuclear commitments, the United States and the EU have lifted nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, as described in the JCPOA.

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-01/16/17 Statement on the One Year Anniversary of Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
-01/17/16 Statement by the President on Iran
-01/17/16 Statement by Secretary Kerry: Hague Claims Tribunal Settlement
-01/16/16 Secretary Kerry's Remarks on Implementation Day
-01/16/16 Secretary of State’s Confirmation of IAEA Verification
-10/18/15 JCPOA Contingent Waivers
-10/18/15 Presidential Memorandum on Adoption Day
OFAC Iran Sanctions FAQs

Full Text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:
-07/14/15 Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
-07/14/15 JCPOA Annex 1 - Nuclear Related Commitments
-07/14/15 JCPOA Annex 2 - Sanctions Related Commitments
-07/14/15 JCPOA Annex 2 - Attachments
-07/14/15 JCPOA Annex 3 - Civil Nuclear Cooperation
-07/14/15 JCPOA Annex 4 - Joint Commission
-07/14/15 JCPOA Annex 5 - Implementation Plan

 

The Israelis were already a nuclear threat since the violation of the ....

 

Atoms For Peace Agreement

 

Israel's nuclear weapons production program started in earnest in 1955. Two developments, one domestic and the other international, proved fateful for the initiation of the project that year.

On the domestic scene, David Ben Gurion, who always believed in the atomic vision, returned to power, first as minister of defense and a few months later as Prime Minister.

On the international scene, President Eisenhower's Atoms for Peace initiative announced a year earlier created a sense of that a greater era for access to nuclear energy was on the horizon.

In August 1955, the same month that Ben Gurion was re-elected as Prime Minister, the first international conference on atomic energy convened in Geneva. It was the biggest scientific extravaganza ever held, entirely devoted to promoting the nuclear revolution.

Professor Ernst David Bergmann, the chairman of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) wrote an enthusiastic top-secret report urging a beefing up of the groundwork for the desired project.

The next two years, 1956-57, were devoted to just that: debating alternatives, searching for overseas partners, recruiting new personnel, and regrouping organizationally. It turned out that these activities coincided with the coalescence of the French-Israeli alliance.

The Dimona project-conceived and sought after in the second half of 1956, put together in 1957 and initiated in 1958-was the product of these efforts. This was the dawn of Israel's nuclear history.

The documents presented below --all created in the period August 1955 to December 1956 by Israeli and American officials-tell us nothing about the future Dimona.

Indeed, no one have access to documents about French-Israeli nuclear relations.

However, they clearly highlight that an intensive search for opportunities in the nuclear field was underway since the Geneva conference.

It is evident from these documents that Israel was seeking any opportunity to build nuclear infrastructure that would support an ambitious nuclear program, an infrastructure far larger than the "Atoms for Peace" initiative allowed.

 

Documents

Document 1. A memorandum of conversation between Israeli Ambassador to the US Abba Eban and Ambassador Morehead Patterson, President Eisenhower's special emissary on atomic energy, concerning bilateral agreement for cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy. Israel had expressed early on of its interest to sign such an agreement with the United States, as part of the "Atoms for Peace" initiative, and was the second country (after Turkey) to do so. Within days the agreement reached the offices of Prime Minister Moshe Sharett and minister of Defense David Ben Gurion. "We found no fault in it," wrote Sharett in his diary. Then he explained this: "It does not prohibit us from contacting other powers, nor even the use of nuclear power to be produced in by own means. On the other hand, it promises us a reactor for experiments and also research, and requires only one limitation: not to use this reactor for any other purpose." Two months later, on 12 July 1955, Israel and the US signed the agreement.

Source: United States National Archives

Document 2. Document in Hebrew. This document is a portion of a "top-secret" 21-page report prepared by Professor Ernst David Bergmann, the chairman of the IAEC, about the Geneva Conference. Even though two critical pages in this document are missing, the document reveals clearly that the Israeli strategy was to use the "Atoms for Peace" program to build a much larger and more complex reactor than the United States was ready to sell Israel. Such reactor would have allowed Israel both to extract small quantities of plutonium and to train chemists and engineers with working on plutonium. They raised their interest in upgrading the reactor in conversations with the chairman of the USAEC, Admiral Strauss, but without revealing too much of their real intentions. According to the Israeli document, Strauss and other American officials told the Israeli delegation that no production of plutonium would be allowed under the "Atoms for Peace" program.

Source: Israel State Archive

Document 3. Document in Hebrew. This document is a 4-page letter from Dr. Amos de-Shalit to Munya Mardor dated August 28, 1956. The letter provides another perspective about the hidden Israeli nuclear agenda at the time. The idea was to "upgrade" the American experimental reactor (that had been offered to Israel under the "Atoms for Peace" initiative) by using Israeli natural uranium as "blanket" and thus to produce a small amount of plutonium (8 gram a month). Such an amount of plutonium was required, the letter states, "to conduct more advanced experiments in plutonium separation."

The letter, which was written days after the end of the Geneva conference, contains sharp criticism of the approach Bergmann proposed, including hints as to what "the improvements that our scientists propose" were.

Source: Israel State Archive

Document 4. This is a memorandum of conversation that took place on 18 August 1955, during the Geneva conference, between Ambassador Patterson and Professor Bergmann, the head of the IAEC. As Bergmann surveyed Israel's plans in the area of nuclear energy, he told Patterson of Israel's interest in a more advanced reactor, which utilizes a core of enriched uranium and a blanket of natural uranium. Bergmann thought (somewhat erroneously) that this design was similar to the American Shippingport reactor. Evidently, Bergmann tried to minimize the significance of the small amount of plutonium that could be produced in the reactor, but clearly he wanted to get the American reaction to this, in particular whether the bilateral agreement would permit construction of such a reactor. He received no clear answer on this question from Patterson.

Source: United States National Archives
For more details: Israel and the Bomb, pages 50-51.Document 5. This is a memorandum of conversation that took place on 11 April 1956, between the Israeli delegation that came to the United States to study and negotiate the reactor deal. By that time Shimon Peres started to dream the French connection that would eventually lead to Dimona. But the general outlook of the IAEC officials was obviously still American-oriented; that is, using the "Atoms for Peace" program as the prime stepboard to initiate Israel's nuclear program. The Israeli delegation told its American counterparts that "they decided to construct a heavy water 10 MW reactor fueled by natural uranium."

Source: United States National Archives

Document 6. This is a two-page memorandum of conversation dated 19 April 1956, relating to the last meeting between Bergmann's delegation and its counterparts from the USAEC. The Israelis appeared very determined in their quest to build a 10 MW, natural uranium, reactor. The Israelis told their American hosts that they had already given their specifications to a number of American firms and expected to have bids in "about five or six weeks." Three months later, on 17 July, Bergmann wrote to USAEC chairman Strauss expressing Israel's interest in purchasing 10 tons of heavy water from the United States for the 10 MW reactor they were planning to build.

Source: United States National Archives

Document 7. This is a two-page memorandum of conversation that took place on 4 December 1956 between the Israeli science attaché in Washington, Dr. Ephraim Lahav, and his American counterparts concerning Israel's nuclear program. By that time Shimon Peres was already starting to put together the Dimona deal which seems to explain why Israel dropped its request for the advanced 10 MW, natural uranium, reactor that had been at the center of the discussions with the Americans in the spring. Notably, Israel was now interested in a pool-type experimental reactor. Israel was still interested in the 10 tones of heavy water; an item France could not supply Israel.

Source: United States National Archives
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