Last Sunday, October 18th, 2015, was Adoption Day for the Iran nuclear agreement. Since there has been some confusion about what exactly Adoption Day means, here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
What is Adoption Day?
Adoption day is the official beginning of the Iran nuclear agreement as Iran, the United States, and the international community all formally commit to complying with the requirements laid out in the agreement.
Why October 18?
The agreement was written to take effect 90 days after the UN Security Council endorsed the deal, which it did unanimously on July 20. After 90 days of review and the completion of legislative processes in Iran and the United States, Adoption Day arrived.
Does Iran receive sanctions relief at this point?
No, there is no sanctions relief on Adoption Day. Sanctions relief only occurs on Implementation Day, which is brought about after the International Atomic Energy Agency verifies that Iran has completed its initial obligations under the agreement.
What does Iran have to do?
Iran must complete a long list of tasks before it receives relief from sanctions:
- Reduce its uranium stockpile to less than 300 kg of low-enriched uranium, a reduction of 97%.
- Remove more than 13,000 centrifuges from their nuclear facilities, a reduction of over 2/3rds.
- Install extensive monitoring infrastructure to ensure the IAEA has continuous surveillance at all designated facilities.
- Remove the core of the Arak reactor and fill it with concrete so that it cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium.
- Convert the Fordow facility into a research center and end all uranium enrichment at the site.
- Implement advanced reporting and verification standards, allowing inspectors access to necessary locations and information.
When will Iran complete its work?
Iran says it will complete its tasks in two months. The United States speculates it could take around six months. Regardless, Iran must have its work completed and verified before receiving any sanctions relief.
What must the United States do?
The United States and the other negotiating members will prepare to waive specific sanctions, which will only be lifted once Iran’s work has been verified by the IAEA. No waiving of sanctions will take place before Implementation Day.