Something to Talk About

On Thursday, President Obama announced a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) framework had been agreed upon in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. The President anticipated the inevitable critics, listing the three possible choices the U.S. could now make.

Source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty/CBSDC

Source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty/CBS DC

Option one is the current deal, made diplomatically with the support of five other world powers. Option two: “…bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, thereby starting another war”. And finally, option three: end negotiations “and hope for the best”.

You can guess which option the Republicans don’t like.

“This attempt to spin diplomatic failure as a success is just the latest example of this administration’s farcical approach to Iran,” Florida Senator and potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio said in a press release.

The GOP’s first 2016 candidate, Ted Cruz, voiced a different concern:

“Now everything President Obama has said up to this date has suggested that he is going to do everything he can to circumvent Congress.” Really?

Source: Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com/Salon

Source: Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com/Salon

“If Congress kills this deal, not based on expert analysis and without offering any reasonable alternative, then it’s the United States that will be blamed for the failure of diplomacy,” Obama explained.

Even when commenting on a historic agreement, Cruz will never waste an opportunity to prove how utterly full of shit he is.

Currently, Iran’s estimated time (aka breakout timeline) to acquire enough fissile material for a weapon is “2 to 3 months.” Under the potential new deal, it would be one year. The framework’s breakout timeline is required to remain as such “for at least ten years”.

After ten years, Iran will have to follow their “enrichment and enrichment R&D plan” submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency “and pursuant to the JCPOA, under the Additional Protocol resulting in certain limitations on enrichment capacity.”

Although Iran does not have to close any of its three nuclear facilities, only one will have the capability to enrich uranium, and then only in amounts for creating fuel for power plants. For 15 years, Iran will not build any new uranium enriching facilities.

Source: Universal Studios

Source: Universal Studios

Former Florida Governor (and likely GOP presidential candidate) Jeb Bush claimed today’s framework would be “permitting Iran to enrich uranium using most of the centrifuges in use today”.

Iran has 19,000 installed centrifuges. Following the framework, that number will drop to 6,104. Less than 6,000 of those would be used to enrich uranium, all of which will be IR-1 first-generation centrifuges. Essentially, the shitty models.

Bush also claimed the deal would allow Iran to “maintain an underground, hardened facility at Fordow”.

He’s correct on that one. Iran will likely maintain the Fordow facility, now that it has agreed to become a research center for “peaceful purposes”. Under the framework, the Fordow facility will no longer enrich uranium.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted prior to yesterday’s announcement:

“Any deal must significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear capabilities and stop its terrorism and aggression.”

Source: Danny Meron/The Times of Israel

Source: Danny Meron/The Times of Israel

Iran will reduce their current enriched uranium stockpile from 10,000 kilograms to just 300 kilograms under the framework. That is a pretty damn significant roll back.

“This framework would cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran will face strict limitations on its program, and Iran has also agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history,” Obama said from the Rose Garden.

Yesterday’s historic announcement shows the only “diplomatic failure” was the letter Rubio and 46 other Republicans sent last month to the Ayatollah with the objective of derailing peace talks.

Iran and the world powers will now have until June 30th to build a deal using this framework.

Update 9/02/2015: With Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski’s support, the Obama administration now has the 34 votes needed to veto a Republican resolution against the Iran deal. 

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