#1 Revealed: What You Need to Know About the Iranian Nuclear 'Framework' by ThirstyMan 02.04.2015 21:40


Guy Benson | Apr 02, 2015

The deal is not done -- as the Iranians are eager to remind everyone -- because various particulars must still be hammered out between now and the end of June. The devil still lurks in crucial details, and potential sticking points abound. That said, the framework announced earlier today is more specific that many had expected. It contains elements that both sides will point to as meaningful wins, though Iran appears to have gotten the better of the agreement on the whole. Based on a State Department "fact sheet" summary -- worded, unsurprisingly, to reassure skeptical Americans -- and other reporting, here's what we know:
What Iran Gets:

(1) An active nuclear program with international legitimacy: The Obama administration's original goal at the outset of these talks was to eliminate Iran's nuclear program; the Washington Post's editors write that the White House's stance has since "evolved into a plan to tolerate and temporarily restrict [Iran's nuclear] capability." Their infrastructure stays intact. They don't have to shut down any existing nuclear sites, including the ones they illegally developed in secret.

(2) Thousands of operational centrifuges: Despite agreeing to effectively uninstall (but not destroy) roughly two-thirds of their centrifuges (although that statistic is actually inflated), Iran is permitted to keep 6,100 on line, with just over 5,000 actively enriching low-grade uranium. The US' reported initial aim was to reduce this number to between 500 and 1,500. Hundreds of centrifuges (sans uranium) will continue to spin in Iran's once-covert, difficult-to-penetrate Fordow mountain facility, which was discovered by Western intelligence agencies in 2009. Iran says it will convert the facility into a nuclear "research" center, used for purely peaceful purposes.

(3) Expiration dates on restrictions: Virtually all of the major Western-imposed restrictions on Iran's program "sunset" after a period of 10 to 15 years. Iran's chief negotiator described these limitations as temporary, lasting only "for a period of time." These are gigantic, consequential concessions. President Obama confirmed these points in his Rose Garden statement this afternoon, but Sec. Kerry later told reporters that there was "no sunset" in the deal. Kerry may have been referring to the IAEA inspections regime, which does not appear to have any expiration date, meaning that Iran has, in theory, agreed to perpetual inspections over an unlimited time horizon.

(4) Major sanctions relief: Crucially, all American and international nuclear-based sanctions against Iran are to be lifted immediately upon an initial IAEA (the UN's nuclear watchdog) affirmation that Tehran has so far lived up to its end of the bargain. Kerry stated that the exact timing of this major event is still under discussion, but if it goes through, Iran will receive immense sanctions relief in exchange for going along with the program at its earliest stages. There does not appear to be any phase-in of sanctions reductions over time, contingent on continued Iranian compliance. This would be an enormous boon to Iran's economy (freeing up cash for the regime to fund its continued malfeasance around the world), with Western "strings attached" getting severed very early on. In addition to the sanctions, existing anti-Iran UN resolutions will be ripped up. They would be extremely challenging to re-impose, for reasons discussed below.

(5) No action on other abuses and rogue programs: The regime's sponsorship and direct facilitation of terrorism, malignant meddling in the region, egregious human rights abuses, and rogue missile program are all untouched by this agreement. Obama acknowledged all of these ongoing sins in his statement, noting that US sanctions attached to the regime's other bad behavior will remain in place. America is cutting a deal with a regime that it admits is still engaging in international lawlessness and terrorism on a massive scale.

for What America and the West gets


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