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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has never certified that Iran is in “compliance” with the deal. Moreover, each quarter since January 2016, the IAEA has reported that it still has not been able to determine that Iran has no undeclared nuclear facilities and materials and thus cannot conclude that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful. 


  • In May, 2019, Iran partially withdrew from the deal.  Iran says it is violating parts of the deal unless the remaining signatories to the 2015 deal — Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia — provide sanctions relief and more economic help.
  • Iran exceeded the 300 kg cap on low-enriched uranium to 551 kg.
  • Iran is enriching uranium to 4.5%, above the 3.67% cap, then 5%, and may go to 20%.
  • Iran has also threatened to exceed heavy-water storage limits, and also to halt the redesign of a heavy-water nuclear reactor at Arak.
  • Iran has begun using an array of 20 IR-6 centrifuges and another 20 of IR-4 centrifuges.
  • Iran has begun injecting uranium gas into 1,044 centrifuges at Fordo.
    • Prior to the deal, Iran refused to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) investigating its Possible Military Dimensions (PMD).  Iran enabled the IAEA to draw partial conclusions on 2 of the 12 elements.  In 5 cases, the IAEA noted that PMD occurred despite Iran’s claims. 
      • “Iran has demanded that the international community “close the file” on PMDs.  Iran also has prevented the IAEA from interviewing key personnel in charge of PMD activities.” 
      • Israel discovered two clandestine facilities in Iran in 2018.  Both show that Iran violated the deal by holding back information, nuclear equipment, and nuclear materials.  
        • ISIS has reported “the new information from the Iranian nuclear archive conclusively shows that the Parchin site did house high explosive chambers capable for use in nuclear weapons research and development… that Iran conducted at Parchin more high explosive tests related to nuclear weapons development than previously thought…(and Iran’s) failure to destroy all these documents, and purportedly, the equipment used in these activities, does not align with its commitment under the JCPOA “that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire nuclear weapons.””  
        • Files included diagrams of nuclear detonation devices, nuclear warhead designs, and plans for nuclear testing sites, among other incriminating information.  Some of these items must have been produced and must be somewhere.  
        • The files show that Iran lied when its leaders, including President Hassan Rouhani said: “Iran has never sought to build nuclear weapons.”  It shows that the Iranians continue to want to build such weapons.  It shows that Iran violated the NNPT and failed to come clean to the IAEA about its past research.  It indicates that Iran had begun the process of establishing an underground nuclear test site and developing the necessary methods to estimate nuclear explosive yield in the early 2000s.  
        • After investigating the second site, the IAEA found evidence of illicit nuclear activity by Iran.  
        • Iran destroyed a third facility in 2019 where it had conducted secret nuclear-weapons experiments.  
        • Iran has refused to cooperate with the IAEA seeking to inspect the sites. 
      • The Obama administration concluded that uranium particles discovered at Parchin likely were tied to the country’s covert nuclear weapons program.  This contradicts Iran’s claims. 


  • Post-deal, Iran refused to cooperate with the IAEA.  
  • Each of the 8 quarterly IAEA reports issued since the JCPOA’s implementation has lacked information that would enable independent assessments of Iranian compliance, raising concern that the agency seeks to conceal.  None of the reports states that Iran has complied with the JCPOA.  Rather, as the JCPOA notes, the IAEA’s mandate primarily entails monitoring and reporting on Tehran’s nuclear-related actions (or lack thereof) pursuant to the JCPOA’s provisions. 
      • Iran blocked an official from the IAEA from visiting its nuclear site at Natanz. 
      • The IAEA has confirmed that Iran lied about its secret nuclear warehouse in Turkuzabad that violates both the JCPOA and the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  The IAEA has also stated, probably about Turkuzabad, that “The agency has detected natural uranium particles of anthropogenic origin at a location in Iran not declared to the agency.”


      • The U.S. & Russia bought or traded for the excess heavy water, which subsidizes the Iranian nuclear program, and will indirectly support terrorism.  The U.S. wired $8.6 million for 32 metric tons.  
      • Iran was storing excess heavy water in Oman.  This “waiver” was eventually revoked.
      • Mark Dubowitz, of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has explained: “These U.S. subsidies will help Tehran perfect its heavy water production skills so it will be fully prepared to develop its plutonium bomb-making capabilities when restrictions on the program sunset …”
    • Iran is not allowing for international inspections of military sites.  Iranian officials had said Tehran would not allow international inspectors to enter military sites, in comments that contradicted JCPOA language.  Parchin is one such site, which was inspected once under only special, restricted, circumstances.  In 2017, Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader Khamenei, reiterated, “Under no circumstances are the Americans allowed to inspect Iran’s military sites.”  He has repeated this.  Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, has claimed that there are no provisions within the JCPOA or in the Additional Protocol to obligate Iran to permit inspection of its military sites. Both the IAEA and Olli Heinonen acknowledge that there have been no inspections.  
    • Iran exceeded the limits on advanced centrifuge research and development by building (IR-8) and operating (IR-6) larger numbers of advanced centrifuges than is allowed.  It assembled more than a half dozen IR-8 rotor assemblies in Tehran.  It operated 13-15 IR-6 centrifuges in a single cascade.  Luckily, their efforts have largely been a failure, although this does demonstrate the Iranian desire to produce nuclear weapons.
    • Iran is continuing to produce uranium enriched to 5% beyond the quantity permitted it.  Two such violations have been recorded by the IAEA.  Iran has exported the surplus for storage in Oman, in a procedure that does not exist in the agreement and is not allowed. 
  • Iran is continuing to produce uranium enriched to 5% beyond the quantity permitted it – this has also been confirmed by Rouhani in 2020.  Two such violations have been recorded by the IAEA.  Iran has exported the surplus for storage in Oman, in a procedure that does not exist in the agreement and is not allowed.
  • The head of Iran’s nuclear agency was reported to have told lawmakers that Iran had enriched 24 metric tons of uranium since the nuclear deal was reached in 2015.  “After the JCPOA, Iran enriched 24 tons of uranium, not 300 kilograms,” Gholamali Jafarzadeh, a member of the Iranian parliament, quoted Salehi as saying, according to Mehr News.  Twenty-four metric tons is 24,000 kilograms.
    • German intelligence has reported that Iran has attempted more than one hundred times to obtain illicit technology that could be used for military nuclear and ballistic missile programs.  More information is here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here as well.  
    • The ISIS has learned that Iran made an attempt to purchase tons of controlled carbon fiber.  This attempt occurred after Implementation Day.  This attempt raises concerns over whether Iran intends to abide by its commitments, as it allows Iran to quickly build an advanced centrifuge enrichment plant if it chooses to leave or disregard the JCPOA during the next few years. 


  • Iran is violating the 5 year arms embargo (UNSCR 2231).  2231 requires prior approval by the Security Council for any arms transfer to or from Iran, and thus, allows the U.S. to block sales.
  • Iran ordered its scientists to start developing systems for nuclear-powered vessels in response to what it calls a U.S. violation of the JCPOA (the reauthorization of the Iran Sanctions Act).  Iran’s move, if carried out, would probably require Iran to enrich uranium to a fissile purity above the level set in the nuclear deal.
  • It is alleged that Iran is doing engineering and weaponization testing at a military complex near Parchin.
  • Iran is most likely violating Section T of the deal, which explicitly bans Iran from “activities which could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device”.  It lists examples such as using computer models that simulate a nuclear bomb, or designing multi-point, explosive detonation systems.  The IAEA has admitted that it has not been able to verify Iran is implementing Section T because the relevant activities would be occurring on military sites.  Project Amad included designs that violated this section.
  • Peter Vincent Pry, executive director for a Congressional Advisory Board, has pointed to unclassified satellite imagery showing an Iranian military base with four high-energy power lines carrying about 750,000 volts each, running underground into a facility to which the IAEA has no access.  Pry suggested that Iran is using those lines to power uranium centrifuges that have not been declared to the international community. 
  • According to Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization Of Iran, Iran never dismantled the core of the plutonium reactor at Arak, saying that Iran needed it for research.  He also said that only the external pipelines of the reactor had been filled with cement, and it could be easily reactivated.  This means that the January 16, 2016 IAEA report by the Director General, which confirmed that Iran had removed and “rendered inoperable” the Arak facility’s calandria, was incorrect. According to the ISIS, Iran has also tried to make changes to the fuel design for the modified Arak reactor, that differ from what the JCPOA requires. Iran also admitted it bought replacement parts for its Arak nuclear reactor even though the JCPOA required the destruction of the original components.
  • The Fordow uranium enrichment facility has never been repurposed, as promised in the JCPOA. Everything required to enrich uranium to weapons grade could be quickly reconstituted. 
  • According to Olli Heinonen, former deputy director-general for Safeguards at the IAEA, Iran may be hiding as many as five underground clandestine nuclear sites.
  • Iran is also not complying with other legally binding accords: the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) and the CSA’s Additional Protocol (AP).  These agreements obligate Iran to provide the IAEA with information about all nuclear facilities, materials and activities in its territory.  

For more information please contact: EMET/ 202.601.7422/

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The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, The Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) is a Washington, D.C. based think tank and policy center with an unabashedly pro-America and pro-Israel stance. EMET (which means truth in Hebrew) prides itself on challenging the falsehoods and misrepresentations that abound in U.S. Middle East policy.

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