President Donald Trump is expected to announce later Tuesday whether he will withdraw the United States from a 2015 agreement with Iran and world powers under which Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief.
European countries and other proponents of the deal say it prevents Iran from quickly developing nuclear weapons. Critics of the deal, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, say it doesn’t go far enough, and that sunset provisions would allow Iran to resume its pursuit of nuclear weapons in the future.
Iran denies ever seeking atomic weapons, and has committed to not doing so as part of the agreement.
Trump has repeatedly criticized the deal and has indicated he will withdraw from it. It’s unclear how Iran would respond to such a move, but analysts say it is unlikely to immediately resume its pre-2015 nuclear activities.
Here’s where Iran’s nuclear program stands under the deal:
URANIUM: Iran only can maintain a stockpile of 300 kilograms (661 pounds) of low-enriched uranium, compared to the 100,000 kilograms (220,460 pounds) of higher-enriched uranium it once had. Iran can only enrich uranium to 3.67 percent, which can be used to fuel a civilian reactor but is far below the 90 percent needed to produce a weapon.
CENTRIFUGES: Iran previously had some 20,000 centrifuges. It now can have no more than 6,104 older-model centrifuges at two inspected sites. Centrifuges are devices that spin rapidly and are used to enrich uranium.
OTHER NUCLEAR SITES: Iran reconfigured a heavy-water reactor so it couldn’t produce plutonium. It agreed to convert its Fordo enrichment site — dug deep into a mountainside — into a research center.
INSPECTIONS: The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Commission, can inspect any declared nuclear site at any time. It also can request access to any other site deemed suspicious. Iran has 24 days to allow such an inspection. If Iran refuses, an arbitration panel weighs the request and sanctions can immediately restart.
SUNSET PROVISIONS: Fifteen years after the deal, restrictions on Iran’s uranium enrichment and stockpile size expire.
BALLISTIC MISSILES: Iran’s ballistic missile program is not a part of the nuclear deal, which has led to criticism from opponents of the accord.