Iran’s Nuclear Deal is Nothing to Get Excited About

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Clusivius:

A negotiated deal with Iran over its nuclear program has international doves and hawks arguing with one another over this “historic” agreement. But the deal won’t really affect relations with Iran as much as people are saying.

The short-term agreement doesn’t significantly change the current sanctions against Iran.

The accord reached in Geneva on Sunday morning represents a first, six-month phase of a process in which Iran will accept limits on its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief.

According to US calculations, the interim deal will be worth up to $7bn (£4.3bn) to Iran, made up of $4.2bn in Iranian oil sales revenue unblocked from frozen accounts; $1bn repatriated from petrochemical sales; a possible $500m in extra production and sales by the Iranian car industry due to the lifting of the ban on imports of car parts; and the unblocking of $400m in Iranian frozen assets to help pay the costs of Iranian students abroad. A suspension on a ban on Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals is expected to bring in smaller amounts.

The sanctions still exist and aren’t greatly altered. Iran still can’t sell its oil, and its banking sector is still very limited.

For this paltry relief of its sanctions, Iran is supposedly going to allow unprecedented access for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to make sure that it destroys its stock of near-20% enriched uranium, limit its uranium enrichment, and accept other restrictions on its enrichment process. Iran will also halt activities for its unfinished Arak reactor.  All of this lasts six months after which, presumably, a long-term deal will have been negotiated.

The text of the interim deal can be found here.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu says that such an agreement leaves Iran’s nuclear program mostly intact, and maybe he is technically correct, but if Iran is truly cooperating, then the agreement would severely compromise its ability to make nuclear weapons during this time.  And if a long-term agreement fails to work out, will the six months of slightly reduced sanctions really alter Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon?

Netanyahu and other war hawks don’t believe that Iran seriously intends to abandon its nuclear weapons program, and they might be correct. But this short-term agreement really doesn’t represent the ground-breaking change that the media is depicting.  So what is all the fuss?

The Israeli prime minister and US Neo-Cons are probably more upset that the West is taking a course that is independent from Israel’s own national interests.

Meanwhile, as negotiations drag on for a long-term agreement, there is still plenty of time for Israel or any number of other factions to sabotage this process to bring about the inevitable war.

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1 Comment

  1. Reblogged this on Brittius.com.

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