18 October 2015, NYT: Now the Hardest Part: Making the Iran Deal Work
15 July 2015, NYT: Deal Reached on Iran Nuclear Program; Limits on Fuel Would Lessen With Time
NOV. 2, 2015
Iran Begins Deactivating Centrifuges Under Nuclear Deal's Terms
By THOMAS ERDBRINK
TEHRAN -- Iran has started decommissioning the first of thousands of centrifuges used for enriching uranium as part of its commitments under the nuclear deal reached with global powers,  the head of Iran's nuclear energy program was quoted as saying on a visit to Japan on Monday.
The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, told the Kyodo News agency that Iran had started preliminary work, referring to centrifuges and other steps.
The entire process will "take some time," said Mr. Salehi, who is also a vice president, a former foreign minister and a member of the nuclear negotiating team.
Iran needs  to take most of its centrifuges, spread over two facilities, out of service, reducing their numbers from 19,000 to around 6,000.
Under the nuclear agreement reached in July,  Iran promised to reduce its enrichment capabilities and overhaul a heavy-water facility, turning it into a less dangerous light-water reactor. It also needs to fully answer a set of questions about the possible military dimensions of its program.
In exchange, economic sanctions will be lifted, but only after the International Atomic Energy Agency confirms that Iran has lived up to its commitments.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, endorsed the nuclear agreement in October but with a set of conditions, including a call for Parliament to oversee the execution of the deal.
A group of 20 hard-line lawmakers demanded that the government stop the decommissioning of the centrifuges because a special parliamentary committee to monitor the process sought by Ayatollah Khamenei has not yet been formed.
"Unfortunately, in the last two days, a number of contractors entered the Fordo site to remove the centrifuges and the infrastructure at this site, and they have said that it will take them two weeks to finish the work," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to President Hassan Rouhani, referring to one of the two enrichment plants.
The government is in need of cash, and some officials have argued that each delay in meeting the terms of the nuclear accord will only prolong the sanctions.