Understanding 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal

Understanding 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal

With Iran announcing enrichment of Uranium to 20%, let us look at the historic Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015, its specifics, and its impact on the Middle-East as well as Europe and the US.

Crux of the Matter

2015 Agreement
On 14 July 2015, the Nuclear deal with Iran was signed. The full name of the deal is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). It was signed by the P5+1 (permanent UNSC members + Germany).

US, UK, China, Russia, France, and Germany signed a deal with Iran. The agreement has been cited as a major achievement of the Obama Presidency in the US (Biden was Vice President then).


  • To limit Iran’s nuclear development to ‘peaceful’ energy use only.
  • Achieved by signing an agreement in exchange for removing several sanctions.
  • US, EU and UN had imposed heavy restrictions on Iran for its nuclear programme prior to the deal.

Specifics For Iran

  • 20,000 centrifuges to be reduced to 5,060.
    Centrifuges are devices used for enriching the usable Uranium.
  • 98% reduction in the stock of Uranium to bring it down to 300kg.
  • 3.67% is the specified maximum level of enrichment of the stock.
  • Redesign Heavy-Water reactor to not produce ‘weapon-grade plutonium’ fit for a nuclear weapon.
  • Required to adhere to any International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection request within 24 days window.

As per US experts in 2015:

  • Iran was capable of having 90% enriched Uranium to build Nuclear weapon within 2-3 months with stock prior to the Agreement.
  • Agreement measures increased that time to 1 year or more.

Result Of The 2015 Deal

  • Iranian overseas assets worth $100 billion unfrozen.
  • Sanctions from the US, UK, and the UN lifted.
  • The sanctions had made Iran lose oil revenue of $160 billion between 2012 and 2016 alone.
  • Iran’s oil and other global businesses kick-started with the signing of the Agreement.

No credible indications of the diversion of nuclear material in connection with the possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.

IAEA December 2015 Report
  • The Manhattan Project was a research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear weapons. It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom and Canada.
  • Trinity was the code name of the first detonation of a nuclear device. It was conducted by the United States Army at 5:29 a.m. on July 16, 1945, as part of the Manhattan Project.
  • Nuclear ethics is a cross-disciplinary field of academic and policy-relevant study in which the problems associated with nuclear warfare, nuclear deterrence, nuclear arms control, nuclear disarmament, or nuclear energy are examined through one or more ethical or moral theories or frameworks