Washington, December 22, 2017 - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, led 23 Members of Congress in authoring a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo, seeking confirmation of at least 8 reported violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly referred to as the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Full text of the letter is as follows:
Dear Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis and Director Pompeo:
President Trump appropriately announced on October 13, 2017, that he would not recertify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as specified under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (INARA, Public Law 114-17).
Since the JCPOA was first implemented on January 16, 2016, the Iranian regime has violated not only the "spirit" of the agreement, but also the "letter" of the agreement, on numerous fronts. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has acknowledged two of these JCPOA violations, in February 2016 and November 2016. In February 2016, the IAEA reported that Iran’s stock of heavy water had reached 130.9 metric tons, above the deal’s 130 metric ton cap. Again in November 2016, Iran had exceeded the heavy water allotment by 100 kilograms. After Iran’s second violation of the heavy water cap, the Joint Commission allowed Iran to store 11 metric tons of heavy water in Oman while it awaits a buyer, but never addressed the underlying intent regarding Iran’s stockpiling of the material itself. Additional violations of the letter of the JCPOA have also not been addressed.
1. Assembling additional advanced centrifuges: Annex 1, Paragraph 61 of the JCPOA states, “Iran will only engage in production of centrifuges… to meet the enrichment R&D requirements.” Yet Iran has acquired more than the necessary amount of IR-8 centrifuge rotor assemblies for R&D purposes with sixteen times more capacity than the IR-1 to enrich uranium.
2. Exceeding IR-6 centrifuge allowance: As part of the JCPOA, an enrichment research and development plan was submitted to the IAEA that permitted roughly ten IR-6 centrifuges. Iran has assembled thirteen to fifteen IR-6 centrifuges, which should have been limited or destroyed under this plan.
3. Conducting mechanical testing of advanced centrifuges. In violation of the JCPOA, Iran has exploited conditions governing the “quality assurance” of advanced centrifuges to conduct mechanical testing of advanced centrifuges.
4. Attempting to acquire carbon fiber: After Implementation Day, the Iranian regime attempted to acquire carbon fiber, a key component of centrifuge production, but was subsequently denied. Iran’s Energy Organization (AEOI) had more than enough carbon fiber to replace rotors for its advanced centrifuge program. This attempt should have been considered a JCPOA violation under Annex 1, Paragraph 61.
5. Refusing IAEA access to military sites: Under Annex 1, Paragraph 76 of the JCPOA, the IAEA can request access to military locations, such as Parchin, to verify compliance. However, the Iranian regime has made it crystal clear in no uncertain terms that access to military sites is “absolutely forbidden."
6. Refusing IAEA access to Sharif University. Tehran rejected an IAEA request to visit Sharif University, where the regime may have pursued undeclared military nuclear activities. Ultimately, the IAEA opted to accept an Iranian explanation of its activities instead.
7. Possessing chemically man-modified particles of natural uranium: In September 2015, Iranian officials granted limited access to IAEA inspectors at the Parchin facility. Although environmental samples revealed chemically man-modified particles of natural uranium, the IAEA did not pursue an explanation. Moreover, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano recently stated that the agency wants Iran to fully implement the JCPOA, which by implication covers Section T of Annex I of the JCPOA, which prohibits any activities that could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device. Determining if Iran is in compliance with Section T, or is in fact now violating some of its conditions, remains impossible to determine without Iran providing more information to the IAEA and allowing access to Iran’s military sites.
We write to inquire as to whether your respective departments and agencies possess intelligence to confirm these violations. We request to be briefed on any such intelligence as well as any plans the administration may have to respond to the violations.
Thank you for your timely attention to this very important question.