** Originally posted at Binghamton Political Buzz Examiner.com, where Michael “Vass” Vasquez is a contributing writer. **
President Obama announced Thursday afternoon (April 2, 2015) that a deal to agree to a deal by Jun 30, 2015 has be reached with Iran and several nations including the U.S. This caps a series of talks with Iran about its nuclear ambitions. The technical terms of the deal will start to be fleshed out from here, but some actions will take place immediately. The question many will ask though is if this deal is good for anyone besides Iran.
First, the background must be understood. Iran is actively engaged in a nuclear program. The reveal in 2099 of a secret research facility solely for the purpose of developing nuclear arms confirmed that, regadless of claims from Iran to the contrary. Iran has over 13,000 confirmed centrifuges, the vast majority that are designed to enrich weapons grade nuclear material. Add to this the fact that Iran is known as being less than reputable and more than willing to re-interpret any agreement made. This was the case in November 2013
“Let anyone make his own reading, but this right is clearly stated in the text of the agreement that Iran can continue its enrichment, and I announce to our people that our enrichment activities will continue as before.” – Iranian president Hassan Rouhani
Second let’s look at the success of previous nuclear talks with nations of a less than spotless reputation, in other words North Korea. It was 1985 when North Korea joined the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. In 1994 North Korea sign the Agreed Framework in Geneva. By 1998 North Korea conducted long-range missile tests, and by 2002 North Korea admitted they violated the Geneva Framework and had secretly enriched uranium. In 2003 North Korea claimed to be a nuclear power. This was all after multiple rounds of talks, inspections, serious violations of agreements, and the world watching intensely.
So given these critical concerns and the reality of the world, what does the agreement to make an agreement resulted in? Israel, the only stable and pro-West nation in the region, hates the deal. In no small part because Iran will be left with 6000 centrifuges, of which 5,000 are capable of enriching nuclear material. In addition we know that Iran controlled the discussion, as has been reported. While the deal claims the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will have the ability to inspect, history has proven that is no safeguard.
Most critically, the deal will lift sanctions that have hurt Iran, especially with the drop in the price of oil. Thus Iran with have greater financial stability, allowing it to continue to spread its influence in the region. Were Iran to follow the lead of North Korea, it would also be able to further fund any secret and agreement breaking research to further its nuclear ambitions.
But President Obama has hailed the agreement to make an agreement as a success. Considering the failures of international policy in Yemen, the continued growth of ISIS in Iraq and across the Middle East, the worsening relations with Israel, and the increase in anarchy throughout the region, this could be seen as a high point of the Obama Administration’s policy efforts. But when you start from underground reaching the surface is still not the same as reaching the stars.
** Update –
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has announced that
“We will continue enriching; we will continue research and development.”
He went on to state that Iran plans to sell excess enriched uranium to the international marketplace. These items appear to be in direct conflict with the agreement as declared by President Obama earlier in the day. Most notably Zarif directly disputes the “phased” removal of sanctions as described by the United States. These actions appear to be a repeat of what occurred in 2013 and directly call to question exactly how good this deal is, and for whom.