Saturday, April 18, 2015

Iranian Nuclear Framework Deal or No Deal: Things Are Getting a Bit Stickier

Map of Known Sites
(the unknowns are a sticking point)

Great Place to Hide and Blend In
("Iran the Fox")

Update on upcoming negotiations to try and get a final deal from USA Today.  The map and more details also from here (

Based on recent comments from U.S. and Iranian leaders, as well as fact sheets on the interim deal issued separately by the United States and Iran, Congressional actions and statements, and such, glaring differences remain – the main ones are:

•  Sanctions: Iran's parliament said that when the comprehensive deal begins, “…all the U.S. and EU sanctions will be terminated, and Iran will start fulfilling” its obligations under the deal. The U.S. said the sanction would be suspended in phases as Iran meets the terms of the deal and its actions are verified by UN inspectors.

•  Centrifuges: Iran's wants to keep operating about 10,000 centrifuges used to process uranium fuel. The U.S. says the framework agreement calls for Iran to scale back to 5,060 operating centrifuges to make it more difficult to produce fuel for a nuclear bomb.

•  Fordow- the name of Iran's bunker facility under a mountain in “Fordow” that would continue uranium enrichment and research and development activities to prepare for more advanced machines in five years. The U.S. said Fordow would be converted to R&D that does not involve uranium enrichment.

•  Inspections: The U.S. says U.N. inspectors would have access to “…all of Iran's nuclear facilities, including undeclared sites.” Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has flatly rejected inspections of military sites.

•  Duration: Iran's parliament called for a five-year limit on the nation's nuclear program. The U.S. said some aspects of the deal would last 10 years, and others would last 25 years.

Aftermath of the Framework Agreement and Pressure from the Senate: The process shows how compromise and cooperation are SUPPOSED to work for good government. Enough changes were made to make the proposal acceptable for everyone and Mr. Obama also agrees.

Under the Senate-White House Compromise Legislation:

1.  A 60-day review period of a final nuclear agreement in the original bill was in effect cut in half, to 30 days, starting with its submission to Congress.

2.   A maximum 12 days the president would have to decide whether to accept or veto a resolution of disapproval, should Congress take that vote.

3.  The formal review period would also include a maximum of 10 days Congress would have to override the veto.

4.  That would mean the president could not lift sanctions for a maximum of 52 days after submitting a final accord to Congress, along with all classified material

If a final accord is not submitted to Congress by July 9, the review period will snap back to 60 days. 

That would prevent the administration from intentionally delaying the submission of the accord to the Capitol. Congress could not reopen the mechanics of a deal, and taking no action would be the equivalent of allowing it to move forward

A very wide gap still exists even as we move into the formal agreement stages with a deadline for June. So, which path? 

I say we wait and see for the final deal is, if any at all. We may have to “punt” as they say. That would not be a pretty sight for anyone and as some say not for the spread of nukes or war or worse: nuclear war!!

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