By Associated Press. Iran, the United States and other world powers struck a historic deal Tuesday to curb Iranian nuclear programs and ease fears of a nuclear-armed Iran threatening the volatile Middle East. In exchange, Iran will get billions of dollars in relief from crushing international sanctions . . .
In Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said “a new chapter” had begun in his nation’s relations with the world. He maintained that Iran had never sought to build a bomb, an assertion the U.S. and its partners have long disputed.
Beyond the hopeful proclamations from the U.S., Iran and other parties to the talks, there is deep skepticism of the deal among U.S. lawmakers and Iranian hardliners. Obama’s most pressing task will be holding off efforts by Congress to levy new sanctions on Iran or block his ability to suspend existing ones. (Read more from “Iran Nuclear Deal: Fine ‘New Chapter’ or ‘Historic Mistake’?” HERE)
The Historic Nuclear Deal With Iran: How It Works
By Ishaan Tharoor. After more than two weeks of wrangling and missed deadlines in Vienna, Iran and its international interlocutors have finally clinched a historic accord over Tehran’s nuclear program. The diplomacy with Iran, an endeavor that faced vociferous opposition throughout, was aimed at curbing the Islamic republic’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon. A tentative framework was inked in April between Iran and its negotiating partners, which include the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China and Germany.
The deal’s proponents argue that the talks have yielded the best guarantee possible that Iran won’t be able to move toward nuclear weapons, while also, for the time being, reducing the risk of yet another military escalation in the Middle East . . .
Here’s a guide to how it works.
The main benchmark by which analysts gauge Iran’s ability to produce an atomic bomb is the “breakout” time — the time needed for Iran to produce enough weapons-grade enriched uranium for one nuclear bomb. It is currently estimated at a couple of months; under the terms of the deal, that time frame has been extended to at least one year.
The implication here is key: One year gives world powers enough time to mobilize action to interrupt Iran’s pathway to a bomb. The extended breakout time also presents, in its own right, a strategic obstacle to Iran’s leadership, raising the stakes if it ever considered rushing toward building a nuclear arsenal. To be sure, Tehran has always insisted that it has no interest in obtaining a nuclear weapon, but its covert activities in the past raised the world’s suspicions and led to tough international trade, banking and financial sanctions. (Read more from “The Historic Nuclear Deal With Iran: How It Works” HERE)