Kerry says P5+1 agreement ends Iran's 20 percent enriched uranium
Kerry made the remarks as part of his opening remarks before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday. Kerry said the 20 percent enriched uranium stockpile is just a short step away from weapons-grade uranium. As part of the agreement, Iran must forfeit the entire stockpile.
"If you remember when (Israeli) Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu held up that cartoon at the U.N. with the bomb in it in 2012, he showed the world a chart that highlighted the type of uranium that he was most concerned about - and he was talking about that 20 percent stockpile," Kerry said. "Under this agreement, Iran will forfeit all - not part, all - of that 20 percent, that 200 kilogram stockpile. Gone."
Kerry said the agreement also stops Iran from enrichment above five percent and keeps Iran from growing its stockpile of 3.5 percent enriched uranium. Iran must also keep the same number of centrifuges in operation and it may not install or use any next-generation centrifuges to enrich uranium.
Kerry also said that the potential of enrichment in the future must be jointly agreed to by Iran and the P5+1.
"Where it does talk about the potential of enrichment in the future, it says 'mutually agreed upon' at least four times - three or four times in that paragraph," Kerry said. "It has to be agreed. We don't agree, it doesn't happen."
Kerry closed by saying the first step agreement will help ensure that Iran never has access to nuclear weapons.
"This first-step agreement, Mr. Chairman, actually does expand the breakout time," Kerry said. "Because of the destruction of the 20 percent, because of the lack of capacity to move forward on all those other facilities, we are expanding the amount of time that it would take them to break out. And, clearly, in a final agreement, we intend to make this failsafe that we can guarantee that they will not have access to nuclear weapons."