Somewhat surprisingly, a deal has actually been reached in the nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1. Either this is an awesome deal, or there’s a lot of desperation on the part of the US and its buddies. (Another issue: According to the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, “There are significant differences between the English and Persian texts of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”)
So let’s review. AIPAC outlined 5 points requirements for a ‘good deal.’ Were they met? You be the judge.
- Inspections & Verifications: The P5+1 originally sought “anywhere, anyplace” inspections, which in the deal have been watered down to “where necessary, when necessary,” and can take up to 24 days to even happen after notice is given.
- Possible Military Dimensions: Originally, the P5+1 called for Iran to disclose all its past nuclear activity. Sec. Kerry dropped the requirement, but according to reports Iran has signed a separate “roadmap” with the IAEA on past disclosure.
- Sanctions: AIPAC called for sanctions relief to follow Iran’s compliance. Although technically the deal seems to call for sanctions to be lifted only after the IAEA verifies that Iran is “taking steps to shrink its program” it appears that some US and EU imposed sanctions will be lifted immediately and others in stages.
- Duration: AIPAC says that Iran must be prevented from becoming a nuclear threshold state, which was probably a pie-in-the-sky wish. Most commentators and reports say the deal will block Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon within a decade, but after that, all bets are off.
- Dismantlement: The deal calls for some significant cutbacks to Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, including the conversion of the facility at Arak to one for research purposes only, but it remains unclear how far the dismantling goes.
So you tell us: Awesome deal? Or sad desperation?
More commentary on the Iran deal to come in our next posting, examining the effects of the deal on Iran’s Middle Eastern neighbors.