The Iran nuclear deal goes something like this:
The permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (also known as P5, and include China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) plus 1 (Germany was the plus 1) negotiated for 2 years with Iran, and then finally cut a deal.
In simple terms:
International sanctions were lifted in return for Iran stopping its nuclear program for a specific period of time.
And, in order for the U.S. to agree to the deal, the Congress said every ninety days the president needs to certify that Iran is complying with the terms and that the deal is still in the best security interests of the U.S.. This is not part of the deal with Iran but instead a U.S. law that gives Congress oversight.
NOW, after the president decertified the deal, the Congress has sixty days to decide whether or not to re-impose sanctions.
The hope is that Congress can identify specific issues that identify the Iranians as noncompliant, which would then lead to sanctions, which could then lead to a stronger contract.
But what if it doesn’t? Is decertifying worth the risk?
It’s time to decertify and rewrite the deal.
the nuclear deal just isn’t good enough
The deal didn’t restrict Iran’s ballistic missiles program.
It only stops the nuclear weapon program, while allowing the development of enriched uranium, ostensibly for nuclear power.
It did not restrict Iran’s support of terrorists like Hezbollah. Or Assad, the president of Syria. Or the Houthi in Yemen.
Let’s not forget about the sunni/shi-a rift that motivates an unsanctioned and economically stronger Iran to further destabilize the region. If we re-do the nuclear deal, we could bring some of these issues to the table.
When Iran signed the nuclear deal, sanctions were lifted, allowing Iran to prosper. Now, there is concern over Iran’s expanding influence in the region.
Here’s a little break down of some troublesome relationships that might need addressing:
- Saudi Arabia (Sunni, and a non-NATO ally of U.S.) and Iran (shi-a) hate each other.
- Israel (another non-NATO ally of U.S.) and Iran hate each other.
- Iran is supporting groups that are fighting in Syria, and are pro-Assad (the president of Syria that’s been bombing his own citizens)
- Iran is supporting the Houthis in Yemen
- and the Hezbollah in Lebanon.
- Iran and Russia are allied.
restrictions will expire on the number of centrifuges and amount of uranium that can be kept inside Iran
Centrifuges are used to “enrich” or concentrate uranium to make it useable for nuclear reactors. They are also used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons, which is much more concentrated than that which is used in power generation.
Limits imposed under the deal will “sunset,” which means new parameters will need to be established.
The deal is worth keeping.
it permanently keeps Iran from getting or developing a nuclear weapon and permanently establishes inspections
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Iran will double its efforts to build weapons for deterrence and expand its missile program if the U.S. pulls out of the deal.
besides, don’t we have enough issues in the world (aka North Korea) to let Iran off the hook?
North Korea tested long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles twice and said the entire U.S. was now in range.
It fired missiles over Japan twice.
It carried out its sixth nuclear test, detonating what it said was a hydrogen bomb that could be fitted onto an ICBM.
The UN Security Council agreed to tougher sanctions against North Korea in August, and Trump followed up with further U.S. measures.
North Korea saying it would make the U.S. “pay dearly” for the UN sanctions.
Maybe we should focus on North Korea now?
unilaterally backing out of the deal may leave our P5-plus-1 partners wondering about our commitment to anything beyond our borders
Trump has pulled out of: the Paris climate agreement, the TPP (trans-pacific partnership), ENESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), and he has threatened to quit NATO.
Is this just nationalism gone crazy?
Is everyone wondering: what’s next?
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