Understanding The Iran Deal

The United States reaches a deal to cut off every pathway for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon

The United States Reaches A Deal To Cut Off Every Pathway For Iran To Obtain A Nuclear Weapon

After more than two and a half years of intense negotiations, the United States, along with its partners and allies comprising the world’s greatest nations, has reached an agreement that will put Iran’s nuclear program under unprecedented international scrutiny. In exchange for easing economic sanctions, the deal will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

This agreement is the result of years of tough-minded American diplomacy and a comprehensive strategy. When President Obama took office, Iran was hiding a covert nuclear facility and was well on its way to producing a bomb. But after instituting tough sanctions on Iran that helped the United States and the world’s other leading powers negotiate from a position of strength, we have reached an accord that proves that American diplomacy — and not war — can bring meaningful change to make our homeland and the world safer and more secure.

Despite the rhetoric from many who would rather try to score political points instead of do the hard work of actually governing, this agreement is in fact a good deal. In April, the Center for American Progress laid out five criteria to be met in order to ensure US interests are protected and its security concerns are met. The deal reached yesterday meets every single one:

  • The agreement cuts off all pathways to an Iranian nuclear weapon.
  • The agreement is verifiable through rigorous international inspections of Iran’s nuclear supply chain and facilities.
  • Sanctions relief is conditional on Iran fulfilling its commitments and sanctions can “snap back” if those commitments are broken — without being blocked unilaterally by Russia or China.
  • The United States retains the ability to counter Iranian human rights abuses and support of terrorism.
  • All options remain on the table to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

The many months of negotiations and the decades of economic sanctions have paid off with a meaningful agreement. But now that a deal has been reached, the hard work of monitoring and verification begins. The ultimate success of this deal rests on its robust implementation in the future.

Congress played an important role leading up to the deal by approving sanctions, but now the ball is back in their court. After the hard work of our diplomats, President Obama has made clear that he will veto any attempt to undo the agreement. Congress has 60 days to approve the deal, and has the opportunity to play a constructive role in making the deal even stronger. Instead of the political grandstanding many elected officials employed earlier this spring, Congress should approve the deal and take concrete steps to strengthen it.

BOTTOM LINE: This agreement with Iran is a crucial first step that will allow the United States and its allies to more strongly oppose Iran’s destabilizing behavior in the Middle East. This is just the beginning, not the end, of the hard work. Congress must work to approve and strengthen the deal so attention can turn to robust implementation of the agreement.

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