IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL REACHED- we are awaiting details and making calls to our own sources on the details of a deal with Iran that will see sanctions eased in exchange for promises of a limitation of some kind on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.
This deal occurs as the Israeli government has declared that it is not bound by any such deal and will use force if they believe the Iranians are close to producing a nuclear weapon.
Before being elected in 2008 President did promise that he would sit down with Iran on an unconditional basis and he has followed through with that promise.
There are many technical details. Our first impressions from overseas sources in the Middle East, outside of Israel, are that many regional powers are concerned about this deal undercutting their own efforts to isolate Iran, whom they see as an immediate threat. We should be looking to the reaction of Arab powers in the region to get a better sense of the impact this deal will have.
A security expert I met with while overseas described the “angst” of regional powers over America’s policies with regards Iran which, the expert said to me on deep background, “made them feel like you lot like Iran better than them.”
The timing of this was meant, we are told, to “take Israel by surprise” to prevent a rapid reaction and create an impression that regional opposition to the deal is muted.
US Secretary of State John Kerry’s deal seems predicated on his belief that Iran will in fact DO as it says it will do and that we already know exactly where Iran’s enriched uranium is stored, how much, and etc. This is not actually know as, for instance, the US believes Iran has 19,00 centrifuges when many experts believe they have over 30,000 working.
The deal involves-
Iran agrees to freeze production of its 20% enriched uranium and dilutes or removes it’s existing stockpile.
Iran’s existing stockpile would be under some sort of monitoring regimen
The Arak heavy water facility would not be “fueled” during talks
None it its enrichment would exceed 3.5%
Iran gets over $4.5 billion in foreign exchange to upgrade their airline fleet, trade in petrochemicals, and receive frozen funds, among other things. A total of $10 billion in sanctions relief will be given by the world powers.
Matt Kroenig, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council was quoted by Al Jazeera saying, “So many people are focused on the deal, and whether we’re going to get it or not, but very few people are thinking about what comes next. You want to have some kind of deal in mind. You want to know what checkmate looks like before you move the first piece.”
MY TAKE ON THE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
The sanction would be marginally lifted, I do not know if the demands for a lift on petroleum exports is on the table. That would be significant and surprising.
What other concessions will be given are not known, but regional sources are hopeful for something that really has teeth, but they fear that the world will ease sanctions in exchange for Iran pretending to reduce their nuclear program. I am sure the Israelis are apoplectic.
There is a ticklish point in the negotiations about formally recognizing Iran’s right to enrich uranium, but what we seem to have is a deal where the world powers can SAY they did not give any formal recognition and Iran can say that they did, and the wording will be vague enough so that most anyone reading it would not be sure themselves what was actually said.