Thursday, July 2, 2015

Nuclear negotiations with Iran

Congressman Randy Forbes



On Tuesday, June 30th, the U.S. State Department announced that negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program have been extended until July 7th. This Tuesday marked what had previously been the final deadline for reaching a long-term solution to Iran's effort to obtain nuclear capability.

The goal of the negotiations between the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, Germany, and Russia (collectively known as the P5+1), and Iran is to restrict Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from currently imposed economic sanctions.  Iranian negotiators, however, have pushed back strongly over the level of access the international community would have into any facility in Iran suspected of non-commercial nuclear activity, and there remain difficulties resolving fundamental differences. Previously, a four-month extension to the first of two original agreement deadlines was declared on July 18, 2014, followed by another seven-month extension, which was enacted when the November 24, 2014 deadline was missed and the yearlong effort to reach a deal failed to come to fruition.

This new deadline is intended to allow for a final deal to be submitted to the U.S. Congress before July 9th, giving Congress 30 days to review the agreement and vote over whether or not it will lift Congressionally mandated sanctions on Iran. If, however, the deal is submitted after the July 9th deadline, Congress would have an additional 30 days to review the agreement.

Opponents of the negotiations continue to be concerned that the agreement is too lenient and that Iran, a U.S. designated state-sponsor of terrorism and the developer of a robust ballistic missile capability, cannot be trusted to uphold their end of the agreement. Former CIA Director Michael Hayden has stated he is fearful of what might come out of continued talks because he believes that Iran has the "upper hand" in negotiations. The Administration, however, has declared the deal to be a national security priority.

Question of the Week: Are you concerned that the Administration's continued nuclear negotiations with Iran put the U.S. in a position of weakness?

(  ) Yes.
(  ) No.
(  ) I don't know.
(  ) Other.

Take the Poll here

Find the results of last week's InstaPoll here.


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