Iran breaches nuclear deal, agreement 'hanging by a thread'

Corey Hinderstein, the Iran deal coordinator for the Department of Energy calls Iran's new move a "dangerous" one.
6:46 | 07/08/19

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Transcript for Iran breaches nuclear deal, agreement 'hanging by a thread'
A turning now to the nuclear threat coming from Iran a major development now as it was announced over the weekend. Iditarod has begun enriching uranium about those caps set in the 2015 nuclear deal this is a name dangerous. New turn in their crumbling agreement with Donald Trump officially. He roof officially withdrew from that deal of course last year. So what does this mean how close are we to Iran getting nuclear weapon and George here now by coriander she with the nuclear threat initiative she's one of the people who. I helped negotiate that deal and advise. The truck Obama administration rather during the negotiations also Connor Fagan joins us from the State Department. Court or start with you seems like a very big. Development an ominous one when they come out and say you know after several years with the brakes on. We have now begun reaching that cap how dangerous is that. It's not dangers from a technical point of view but I certainly think it's dangerous from a political point of view. When we're looking at this agreement that is already been kind of hanging by a thread after the US withdrawal and the imposition of additional sanctions on Iran. We're really thinking about what actions do we all have available to us from a technical point of view. Even going up to the four point 5% enriched uranium which was announced today above the cap of three point 67 you know these numbers don't mean anything magically. But what they do mean is that Iran is starting to kind of tiptoe over the line. They can't make a nuclear weapon tomorrow we're still at that approximately a year before they could even have the first quantity of material for a nuclear bomb. But it is important because what we need to do is try to figure out what options we have. To hold the line here and hopefully reverse and these steps are eminently reversible. Kind of fan again we were talking before the show about the deal itself which was sort of hanging on by a thread even though president trump withdrew the US from it because the European countries. Rate hearing by their terms Iran for the most part was adjourned by its terms a sort of hanging in there. Is this now the death knell for the deal that they've that they've broken your Richmond caps. Well if the Europeans have anything to do with it DeVon I don't think that the death now has sent a just get. They are still actively working with Iran to try to salvage the agreement you know that the drug administration continues to say that. These moves by Tehran will further isolated. But it's actually the Washington that has really been isolated. As leaders like French president Emanuel McCraw and spent over an hour on the phone with the Iranian President over the weekend. They're trying to work with Iran to give them enough economic activity. As was promised under the deal to satisfy a running to make up for the biting US sanctions. Whether or not they're going to be able to do that so far they haven't been able to and Iran is continuing to put pressure on the Europeans to come up with some sort of bigger deal in bigger economic package for them. And cori we hear all the time about to break out period that Iran needs to to make a bomb you said it's still about a one year. Window right now they really were to go all and are we seeing the break out happening to me is this the sprint to the bomb right now taking place before us. There is no sprint right now and the important thing is that we actually have those international inspectors still on the ground. Every day and you're still there with day I don't care. And we know that they've gone over the 300 kilograms and we will have confirmation that they've gone over the four point 5% because those inspectors are on the ground. If we were to see an all out sprint I think we would see. And I different kind of approach to the nuclear program. What we're seeing right now is a tip tell rather than a sprint. And I would even say we don't know that it's towards a nuclear weapon they're not indicating that they're doing anything related to the building of a nuclear weapon right now. But they're certain certainly demonstrating that their patients where they're going to adhere to all of their commitments. While the rest of the parties are not able to meet. Their own is not gonna last. Ever and certainly it's not Connor what options does the US have right now we've heard from secretary Pompeo today. What can the US do. To stopper Ron right now. I would that I think they're gonna continue with their maximum pressure campaign as they call it. Though probably implement further sanctions. And they're gonna try to can tinted to isolate Iran diplomatically yeah as I said though. The European allies are still working with Iran. To try to salvage the agreement did to give them enough for assurances that you know good Europe will meet their commitments. But for the US it's it's all about now trying to change the argument. Corporate secretary Pompeo seen recent days that Iran doesn't have a right to enrichment that. This standard that used to exist that Iran wouldn't be allowed twin rates within its own country should be implemented. That was what was of the one and that real hard parts as Cory would dwell on though in negotiating the agreement with allowing Iran to enrich. Domestically we think you know certain limitations on that the -- administration is trying to go back to the days before that. And say that there should be no in Richmond domestically within Iran. And does that mean quarry that that basically the genie is out of the bottle here in the deal that you work so hard on achieving is basically done. And I guess the corollary to that is and what he had to say it all these democratic candidates who we hear time and again over the past couple weeks say if I was president. We simply go back to the Iran be outdated it doesn't seem to me to be that simple. Does that could you go back to the DOU brokered. It's not going to be that simple and at least part of that is because of the way the deal was structured and Al while I don't want to correct you whales until I take credit for the amazing negotiation that the teams on the ground did. Might in implementation role is really about holding the deal. And making sure everybody was was in meeting their obligations after the completion. And what we saw even in that time was there's no easy question there's always going to be in a deal of you know hundred plus pages. Questions about how do we interpret this paragraph how do we. Meet this standard and so that requires ongoing vigilance. It's not going to be immediately easy to just go back and partially because. The deal was not designed to live in a vacuum and it was not designed to be preserved in amber and just sat on a shelf. It was supposed to be the first step in ongoing process and we see map process unfortunately Hulk with the US withdrawal. If you think about it. The deal was never supposed to be transactional you do this and I'll do that it was supposed to be transformational. If we each meet our commitments together we will be able to get to a different point. At this ten year fifteen year 25 year mark well we have a different kind of dynamic with Iran and frankly different level confidence in their activity lost. See where the senate diplomatic talks go that they re start over that over the year we appreciate query Henderson with the nuclear threat initiative thank you so much for your expertise core.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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