Nuclear Deal Reached With Iran

The temporary deal will provide about $7 billion in relief from sanctions in exchange for Iran placing limits on its nuclear program. The agreement is the result of five days of intensive talks in Geneva and marks the first accord since Iran’s program came under global scrutiny in 2003.

President Barack Obama delivered a statement from the White House praising the agreement as an important development that would lead to greater security for the US. The White House also released a Fact Sheet on the agreement.

The Iranians released their version of the deal, which was reported by Reuters.

While statements and Tweets were released immediately following the announcement, there are many outstanding questions that will need to be answered in the near future to determine whether Iran is a serious negotiator.

The Washington Post‘s David Ignatius writes that the deal produces a lack of clarity in the region that will have to settle itself out in the coming weeks and months.

“The U.S. opening to Iran will also affect the Sunni-Shiite sectarian schism that is causing so much bloodshed in the Middle East. But it’s hard to predict just how this will play out: Saudi Arabia and other Sunni powers have been waging a proxy war against Iran across the region — in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon. If the United States isn’t careful in how it manages its engagement with Shiite Iran, it could tilt this sectarian conflict even more toward extremist Sunni jihadists and extremist Shiite Hezbollah fighters who increasingly dominate the fight in Syria and elsewhere,” says Ignatius.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei praised the deal and said it could serve as a “basis for future prudent measures,” reported The Tehran Times.

A Reasonable Deal
Barak Ravid of Ha’retz sees the deal as an achievement that is in sum a “reasonable deal” even for Israel.

“Netanyahu has said that Iran isn’t being required to dismantle its reactor in Arak. But the reactor is at least a year away from being operative, and the deal with Iran will push that off by an additional six months. This would block any Iranian attempt to develop nuclear weapons on a second, plutonium path.

“But the most important part of this agreement is the inspection regime. Under the deal, inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency will be given daily access to the Natanz and Fordo facilities, permitting inspectors to review surveillance camera footage,” he notes.

Or An Unreasonable Deal?
While Secretary of State John Kerry said there was “no daylight” between Israel and the United States, Israeli Prime Minister called the deal a “historic mistake,” saying it was reminiscent of the deal signed with North Korea in which it pledged to halt its nuclear program.

Foreign policy analyst Max Boot shares Netanyahu’s skepticism of Iran’s intentions and suspects that the regime may already have achieved its nuclear goals.

“Obama administration officials have been eager to cite claims from the U.S. intelligence community that Iran has slowed its enrichment of uranium. But leaving aside the question of whether American intelligence analysts have any better grasp of the Iranian program than they had of the Iraqi WMD program, it is eminently possible, as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu argues, that the slowdown is occurring simply because the mullahs already have all the capacity they need to produce a bomb,” Boot argues in a Los Angeles Times op-ed.

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