Iran and world powers may struggle to meet a self-imposed July deadline to agree on long-term limitations to the nation’s nuclear work in return for sanctions relief, according to former diplomats and analysts.
United Nations atomic inspectors verified that Iran froze its most sensitive nuclear work, complying with demands made by world powers in a deal that will lift some of the sanctions hobbling the Persian Gulf nation.
Iran said it has 17 kilograms of 20 percent-enriched uranium, more than triple the amount United Nations nuclear inspectors found there in April and about 10 percent of what scientists say is needed to begin making a bomb.
For more than 15 years and more than any other world leader, Benjamin Netanyahu demanded sanctions against Iran to stop it from getting nuclear weapons. Now, as the sanctions are credited with weakening the Iranian economy enough to prompt a thaw between the U.S. and the Islamic nation, the Israeli prime minister is among the skeptics who remain unconvinced that anything significant has changed.
Iran’s eagerness to resolve the stalemate over its disputed nuclear work is unlikely to yield any immediate outcome in negotiations with atomic monitors seeking more access to the program, arms-control analysts said.
International sanctions designed to punish Iran for its nuclear program may be counter-productive, said scientists and security analysts tracking the decade-long dispute over the Persian Gulf nation’s atomic work.